Karen Moncrieff’s Blue Car begins dubiously enough: a queasy opening voiceover by the angst-ridden, budding poetess Meg (an outstanding Agnes Bruckner) promises a coming-of-age story heavy on self-therapy (“I am rust/I am the disease that rots the trees”). Thankfully, her AP English teacher (a tormented David Strathairn) asks her to go deeper. The ensuing Lolita procedural is both modest and devastating. Haunted by the memory of her distant father’s departure, Meg is urged to tap into her innermost emotions. Her little sister cuts the soles of her feet and pours salt over the wounds while her hot-headed mother is devastated when she doesn’t get an administrative job promised to her by a suitor. The sense of gloom is overwhelming and while the film is noticeably burdened by the free-your-soul setup, Moncrieff has an uncanny way of tapping into the private hells of her characters. Moncrieff’s tactful direction is every bit as awkward as Meg’s painful road to self-empowerment. Not unlike Robert J. Siegel’s Swimming, this little gem plays out an awful lot like adolescence.
- Miramax Films
- 96 min
- Karen Moncrieff
- Karen Moncrieff
- David Strathairn, Agnes Bruckner, Margaret Colin, Frances Fisher, A.J. Buckley, Regan Arnold, Sarah Beuhler
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