10 March, 2008

teen crud-arama

vicious. nasty. cruel.

here is what salon had to say:
"Pretty Persuasion": Greek tragedy at Ridgemont High
At first glance, and even at second, Marcos Siega's debut feature "Pretty Persuasion" belongs to one of the most familiar genres in American movies: the high-school comedy, in particular the kind that portrays California teenage girls as oversexed Machiavellian ice bitches plotting their own rise to supremacy and the downfall of everyone around them. I mean, that is what "Pretty Persuasion" is about -- 15-year-old Kimberly (Evan Rachel Wood) manipulates her two friends in a spurious sexual assault charge against an awkward English teacher (Ron Livingston) who's clearly got the hots for her.

But most such movies have to wind up with some kind of sweetness and redemption, or at the very least teach a useful social lesson. Skander Halim's screenplay has a far-reaching ruthlessness, along with a grand ambition to turn a movie that starts as dark satire into something approaching Greek tragedy.

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