HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
First Love
Countess from Hong Kong, A
Storm Boy
Storm Boy
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
   
 
Newest Articles
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Girl in the Park, The Seeing is believing
Year: 2007
Director: David Auburn
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Kate Bosworth, Alessandro Nivola, Keri Russell, Elias Koteas, David Rasche, Joanna Gleason, Maury Ginsberg, Jeffrey Joseph, Patricia Kalember
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sixteen years ago, Julia Sandburg (Sigourney Weaver) lost her little daughter Maggie when she disappeared from a New York playground. Since then her estranged husband Doug (David Rasche) has moved on with his new wife and stepson, while their son Chris (Alessandro Nivola) is newly engaged to Celeste (Keri Russell) with a baby on the way, but Julia leads a sterile, lonely life in her apartment, still haunted by the past. She finds herself drawn to Louise (Kate Bosworth), a troubled young, blonde woman around the age Maggie would be. Claiming to be pregnant, Louise cons Julia out of seven hundred dollars but later returns the money out of guilt. Julia invites Louise into her home, slowly growing more convinced the orphaned runaway is her long-lost daughter, especially once she restores her natural brunette hair. As they grow closer, a spark of warmth reignites Julia’s life, even though her family increasingly suspect she has lost her mind.

While seasoned cinemagoers might suspect a retread of Vertigo (1958) territory, the manner in which The Girl in the Park actually unfolds is refreshingly humane. Playwright-turned-director David Auburn impresses with his balancing act in telling an essentially heart-warming, yet resolutely unsentimental story in an observational, almost fly-on-the-wall style. With painful accuracy, Auburn pinpoints the different ways in which people cope with tragedy. After several years of trying to rouse his wife out of her torpor, Doug has basically washed his hands of the past. Chris simmers with resentment, yet crucially remains a devoted son, while Julia initially seems a brittle wreck.

Sigourney Weaver is cinema’s great warrior-mom. Whether in Aliens (1986) or Gorillas in the Mist (1988) or Heartbreakers (2001), she is often fighting to protect her offspring. Which makes watching Julia forlornly wander the park, talking sweetly to other people’s children before police cart her away as emotionally shattering as seeing Clint Eastwood play a doddering old gunslinger who can’t shoot straight in Unforgiven (1992). Julia’s relationship with Louise develops without recourse to clichéd melodramatics, subtly re-enacting the teenage friction she missed out on with Maggie. Without providing any easy answer, Auburn stresses the traits these women share (impulsiveness, a talent for fibbing) in scenes beautifully played by Weaver and Kate Bosworth, an actress whose talent is all too often ill-served by Hollywood. Louise could have been a walking cliché, but as scripted and played proves engagingly complex: initially manipulative, but genuinely caring, grateful and affectionate. She thaws Julia’s relationship with Chris and opens her to the possibility of romance with a caring co-worker (Elias Koteas).

Bosworth enjoys one comic scene where Louise convinces Doug’s sulky stepson she is a recovering nymphomaniac, but by far her most compelling scenes are opposite Weaver. Particularly an understated moment where Julia flicks through a photo-album and innocently refers to Louise as Maggie. Though her daughter sports a birthmark upon her left leg, Julia can never bring herself to ask Louise the obvious question. Auburn keeps things ambiguous. While Julia’s family are convinced she has gone crazy, neither she nor Louise are entirely certain what the truth is. Auburn fumbles a few subplots, relying heavily on warm performances from his supporting cast to paper over the cracks, but redeems things with his daring suggestion that the truth does not really matter. Even if Julia and Louise are only strangers and not mother and daughter, their bond is something tangible, mutually positive and good.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2035 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: