In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education ... See full summary »
A father along with his son and sister is driving back home in his car. The son continiously is throwing orange peels onto the road when suddenly the father stops the car and tells his son ... See full summary »
A look at three girls, young teens, in the era of the Beatles. Pam lives with parents who haven't spoken directly to each other in two years, using their daughters to talk across the table ... See full summary »
While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire P.J. Waters, a macho ... See full summary »
An American girl inherits a fortune and falls into a misguided relationship with a gentleman confidence artist whose true nature, including a barbed and covetous disposition, turns her life into a nightmare.
Two girls, at 15; Louise, in a prestigious girls' high school, and Kelly, who was admitted but forbidden by her father to attend. This is the end of their friendship, and from here the film... See full summary »
Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same despite he just having gotten engaged to her co-worker, Cheryl. That destiny may change with the fortunes of what she sees as the next symbol of their relationship, a somewhat sickly elder tree Louis plants in their garden for their one year anniversary. Their relationship is placed under a strain with the arrival of Kay's formerly institutionalized sister Dawn - nicknamed Sweetie - and Sweetie's current boyfriend, Bob, who Sweetie believes will help her get into show business. Kay's pleas to her father Gordon to help get Sweetie out of her house go largely ignored, as he has never judged Sweetie, who he still sees as his performing loving little girl. Gordon is facing his own issues as Kay and Sweetie's mother, Flo, has just left him on a trial separation, their issues largely stemming from his ...Written by
Jane Campion's first theatrical feature explores a dysfunctional family
When it starts off with the eccentric and shy Kay (Karen Colston) falling in love with the handsome Louis (Tom Lycos), Jane Campion's 1988 film SWEETIE promises a romantic comedy. When Kay's mentally ill sister Dawn (Genevieve Lemon) drops in, the film develops in a very different direction. Some element of comedy, very black humour, remains but overall the film is a family tragedy.
The tragedy is that this disturbed young woman nicknamed "Sweetie" is simultaneously a victim of her own illness and an unwilling aggressor against her family, who feign love and acceptance but clearly would like to do without her. The strongest aspect of the film is Lemon's performance, one of the best screen portrayals of mental illness since Bergman's IN A GLASS DARKLY. Something I appreciate more on repeat viewing is that the background to this family drama is left ambiguous. That said, I would not list "Sweetie" among my favourite films: it is overall well-made and memorable but not quite at the level of effusive praise.
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