Struggling artist Anna Larsen's mother has never understood her. So when Anna returns home to Minnesota to help care for her ailing mom, she brings years of family baggage with her. But the...
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Struggling artist Anna Larsen's mother has never understood her. So when Anna returns home to Minnesota to help care for her ailing mom, she brings years of family baggage with her. But the rediscovery of a magical mailbox from her childhood and the search to solve its mystery forces Anna to confront the fact that maybe she's the one who doesn't understand.Written by
The most beautiful and nuanced film that reminds us all that relationships are complicated and we are who we are
Dragonfly has quickly found a place in my heart as my favorite movie. After the heavy Venetian red curtain fell, seamless tears ran down my cheeks - I couldn't help it. The movie was beautiful (if you watch the movie, you'll get the reference) in the most basic, human way. I couldn't help but miss my mom and realize how much I loved her afterward.
Dragonfly depicts an early thirty-something woman. Comparatively, her life has never been a struggle. However, like many, she's always felt unsatisfied with her work and snubbed by others. Especially, her mom. Growing up in an upper-class neighborhood in Minneapolis - her mother a rigid attorney and her father a hummus-loving commercial artist - she's always had an eye for photography. In fact, the movie opens following her on a morning walk and occasionally stopping, envisioning her photo and then snapping it. With each click of her camera, the image comes alive, with moving, vibrant colors with Crayola consistency. Like many American families, her parents are split. In her eyes, her mother pushed her farther away. And, so, at a young age, she learns to run away.
Years and years later, her mom develops early onset Alzheimer's and she (involuntarily) comes to help prepare her childhood home for selling. But, to her surprise, she is greeted with nostalgia when encountering her favorite childhood memento -- a miniature white mailbox. A place where she connected with a mysterious pen pal -- 'Dragonfly.' The only person who she felt understood her as a child.
In all honesty, the mystery is not so mysterious. I imagine 40% of the theater guessed the pen pal a third of the way through. But, the depth is there through and through.
I felt love and connection. But also, a basic acceptance that the deepest human relationships are never pure, and in fact, are poisoned with deep misunderstanding that is catalyzed simply by who we are. But still, we love each other. Beyond shared value or belief, it's biological. Familial connection escapes all worded bounds and becomes molecular. In my opinion, that's why sometimes you can love someone so much that it hurts.
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