I really wanted to see this film, and from the way it sounded it was going to be one heck of a ride through dementia, but what I ultimately found out, the shock value of the dream images wore thin because of the boredom that took over while watching the movie. The story is a simple one. A young teenage girl seeks the approval of her over bearing mother while having delusions that she, one day will become this amazing surgeon. The young girl Pauline not only has to deal with her dysfunctional family, but also a younger sister who is suffering from cystic fibrosis. Pauline wants nothing but the best for her sister and will do anything to keep her safe.
Slow burn movies work to a degree, but this one moved at a snails pace. At times the movie hits those psychotic episodes where you wonder just what are you watching, but like I was saying earlier that portion of the movie over stays it`s welcome and when the shocking images arrive their become none effective of shocking the audience. The directing in the movie as well falls short and becomes stale about half way through the movie. The only really solid ground in the movie is the acting and it does have a few people in here that I was not expecting.
Richard Bates Jr. directs this movie and before this made a short film of this subject with the same name that won numerous awards. He does have talent, don`t get me wrong, but he needs to have a tighter pace for a movie like this. At the beginning of the movie I felt I was watching really short scenes string together and that gave the movie an out of place feeling. You wonder where it`s actually going and when it finds that out would it eventually get there. Bates does make a good character study film and does a good job getting the audience connected to the characters. You really feel hatred for the mother, sadness for the father. You feel the strength of the young sister and the failure that Pauline thinks she is. Bates knows what he`s doing behind the lens, he just needs to tighten a bit to make a more coherent story.
The acting is strong. With performances from Marlee Matlin, Malcolm McDowell, John Waters, and porn star Traci Lords. Traci gives a strong performance as the mother. She really knows how to make the audience hate a character and it really works in this film. It`s good to see an adult industry actress give a good performance outside of the world of porn.
The star of the show though is AnnaLynne McCord. She plays Pauline, the troubled teenager. Pauline wants to do two things in life, lose her virginity and become a successful surgeon. She has these demented visions of cutting up bodies and at one point turns to necrophilia. She seems to be a lost soul that just doesn`t know how to allow someone to help them. Throughout the movie she prays to Jesus about what she wants out of life and how she is going to do good in the world and turn her life around. McCord is brilliant in the role of Pauline and is almost mesmerizing to watch on screen.
Overall this movie is either going to be a big hit, or a big miss. A lot of people are praising this movie and in some ways I see a bit of genius film making in this movie, but not enough that I can fully recommend this movie.
I give this movie 2 stars out of 5. The performances are strong but that`s about it. The story and film at times seemed a little pretentious because of the way it was playing out. It`s a drawn out movie that needed to be a little shorter and tighter in the playback. It`s not your typical style movie, which can be a good thing, but for me it was a bad thing and really didn`t play out well. Though if you you decide to watch it stay till the end. It does have quite the ending. Till next time my friends.