movie film review | chris tookey

Welcome To The Dollhouse

  Welcome To The Dollhouse Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
7.75 /10
Dawn Wiener .......... Heather Matarazzo , Steve ................ Eric Mabius , Brandon McCarthy ..... Brendan Sexton Jr.
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Directed by: Todd Solondz
Written by: Todd Solondz

Released: 1996
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 87

Dawn, a victimised 11 year-old (Heather Matarazzo), haplessly in love with a high-school hunk who cares nothing for her, squints myopically through ugly specs at each oncoming injustice and humiliation.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Todd Solondzís first film casts such a beady, misanthropic eye over American schools and families, that it makes other nightmarish treatments of the topic (such as Carrie or Roald Dahlís Matilda ) seem sunny by comparison.

The many, minute observations of bullying at school and sibling rivalry at home have the jolt of long-remembered pain. Heather Matarazzo is terrific, and the detail is often hideously funny. Whatís missing is much of a story, or consistency of tone . Towards the end, the film shifts from rites-of-passage comedy into thriller, and then - just as abruptly - out again. Although the picture is sympathetic to the heroine, it doesnít allow her any redeeming characteristics, or a chance to gain revenge.

Itís so cruel to all its characters that ultimately itís dispiriting. But it isnít hard to see why this independent film won the Grand Jury prize at Americaís Sundance Film Festival. If ever Mr Solondz finds a foreground story to match his powers of background observation, his will be a talent to watch.

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