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Blue Car

2006-03-30 12:07

In a story rife with the ambiguities of love, first-time writer-director Karen Moncrieff presents a starkly haunting and intimate portrait of a young woman whose hunger for true affection leads to a shattering encounter. A breakaway hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Blue Car delves into the emotional realities of everyday people caught up in the pitfalls of unpredictable relationships and desires.

Eighteen year-old Meg (Agnes Bruckner) has been set adrift ever since her father left their family, driving away in a blue car. Now, in her final year of high school, Meg has finally found a life-line: Her poetry teacher, Mr. Auster (David Strathairn), a man who exposes her raw talent, drives her to succeed, introduces her to the wonders of her imagination, and seems to genuinely care about her in a way that no one else in her life does.

At home, Meg must balance her defiant anger at her over-worked, inattentive mother (Margaret Colin) with her valiant struggle to help her troubled younger sister (Regan Arnold). But at school, with Mr. Auster, she enters a whole other world where her deepest feelings come to the surface, where she is safe to tell the truth, where she has a future - which seems even more exciting when she wins a school poetry contest and the opportunity to compete in the national finals across the country in Florida.

But as Meg prepares for the contest, things begin to disintegrate at home, the bottom falls out, and Meg has only one place to turn: Mr. Auster. Without flinching, Blue Car presents Meg's resonant search for understanding -- at times harrowing, at times luminous and hopeful - and raises difficult questions about the nature of love and longing.

What the critics are saying:

"...its refusal to come alive as a film, rather than just a good piece of writing, ultimately strands its good intentions."
- Jesse Hassenger,

"This small gem of a movie is the perfect setting for her breakthrough performance."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"...even with its drawbacks, "Blue Car" remains an intimate, thoughtful drama, with a performance no one is likely to forget."
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

This dense and well-written tale about a girl's search for acceptance rings true - but don't expect to feel good afterwards.

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