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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from ChicagoFCA. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tanner Hall


Browsing what to watch in my cable, discovered this 2008 produced film that was screened at 2009 Toronto fest, seems went into oblivion until 2011 when had a limited theater release and the DVD came out. Film is co directed by two little-known women, that's it if you are NOT familiar with royalty and/or lesbian celebrities. Tatiana von Furstenberg, better known as Tatiana Desirée Prinzessin zu Fürstenberg, and Francesca Gregorini, better known as Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini di Savignano di Romagna or Portia di Rossi's ex, direct and co wrote the film.

All right after the film royal pedigree let me share that I found movie to be quite interesting and surprisingly good, with a few storyline exceptions that were really horrendous. Film is "inspired" by co directors/writers real experiences while being in England boarding schools but has fiction peppered around. Have no idea what is fiction and what is not, but I can guess the storyline that involved Mr. and Mrs. Middlewood has to be fiction, was introduced mainly for comic relief and is absolutely horrendous, not only because casting, actors performances but also because was not credible, realistic. The last becomes more visible as everything else not related exclusively to the Middlewood's looks and feels very real. If all those scenes were deleted, film would have been better.

Film tells the story of four girls at a very upper class New England boarding school and is a slice of their lives that shows crucial moments that changed them forever. Fernanda (Rooney Mara), Victoria (Georgia King), Kate (Brie Larson) and Lucasta (Amy Ferguson) are the four very different personalities girls and this story is interesting, actresses give quite good performances and feels real. Admit that saw film to see Rooney Mara's performance and now I'm quite impressed, the young actress can really act and she's good; so sorry that I had to meet her doing the American version of Lizbeth Salander.

If you enjoy regular girls boarding school movies maybe you will not enjoy this one as definitively film does not look like regular American cinema, this is similar to European cinema and/or European boarding school stories. Film has a lesbian interest character and perhaps those that enjoy the genre could enjoy the storyline that -for a change- has a happy ending.

A good film with some big flaws, but believe could entertain you and if you are like me, unable to appreciate Mara's most famous performance, then give this movie a chance and maybe you will agree that Mara shows here that she's an actress worthy to follow her career.

Enjoy!!

Watch trailer @MOC

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