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George Roy Hill
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Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej, who is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.
Based very loosely on the intricate novel by Joanne Greenberg. A young woman's devotion to a childhood fantasy kingdom has taken over her entire life and causes her endless pain and degradation. Placed in a mental hospital, she has the great good fortune to have a truly caring therapist who tries to help her accept reality, even though reality isn't so great either.Written by
Molly Malloy <email@example.com>
This isn't a film that always works, but when it does, it finds its way so deep under your skin that the pain is surprising. The acting is what stands above everything else here. I suppose I'd seen Kathleen Quinlan before, but I can't say I've ever really noticed her. Maybe it's because she's so young, so human here that it stands out amongst everything else she did before and after this. Her performance is wild, heartbreaking, intensely realized. Other performances, like Bibi Andersson, are great, but not as essential as Quinlan.
This is ground that has been covered with perhaps more consistency (in a cinematic sense) with films like "Girl, Interrupted" but never with the same emotional depth as here. Anthony Page makes a lot of strange, even bad directorial decisions perhaps, but he captures a crazed, uneasy tone in the cinematography and performances that brings it all together. The only odd points are the off-center dreams/hallucination sequences and out-of-place soundtrack. If you can overlook these, this is a truly great film. It really tore my heart out.
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