Archive for the ‘Jena Malone’ Category

Saved! (2004)

Mary attends a christian high school. When she finds out her boyfriend is gay…she trys her best to get him to be straight. Believing that god wants her to save him…she sleeps with him. As it turns out, her first time made her pregnant. In a conservative religious community she is now an out cast.How will she survive?

Funny just the right amount. This movie somehow manages to be funny mocking the hypocrisy and excessiveness of extremely religious people without being overly crude and mean. I also thought Mandy Moore was perfect as Hilary Faye, an awful witch (she’s actually played other witchy roles in American Dreams and the Princess Diaries) trying to force her religion on her classmate—which was a pretty hopeless and hilarious affair. Everyone else was good in this too. There’s even Macaulay Culkin (where has he been) as Hilary Faye’s wheelchair bound brother. Overall…entertaining

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The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)

Jack and Rose live on an island commune…cut off from the ouside world…totally isolated, until developers start building a housing estate…which pretty much angers Jack…who is fiercely trying to protect the land. But Jack is also sick and worries for the well being of his daughter who is extremely devoted to him. Believing that they require the presence of a woman in the house and that she would be able to help Rose in the future…Jack invites his girlfriend and her teenage sons to live with them. But what ensue is chaos as Rose begin to rebel.

I don’t think this film was released in the local theaters…but I’m definitely glad it was released on dvd here and I finally was able to rent it out as I found the plot to be rather interesting. It certainly looked as if it could be quite a good drama.

And guess what…I rather liked it. The story is sad and at times rather disturbing. As you see…Jack’s absolute intent to live in a commune and live the way he wants to live has disastrous effects on his daughter. As a result, Rose is socially inapt and has only known to depend and love only him…and of course when he invites his girlfriend over…you can only imagine how Rose would react…she was absolutely furious and spirals out of control. Trying several times to get rid of Jack’s girlfriend and lose her virginity with one of her sons…yes crazy comes to mind here. But her actions and her mistakes…aren’t they first and foremost Jack’s mistakes for raising her the way that he did. Even the father and daughter’s devotion towards each other is questionable. Well I shouldn’t give too much of the story away… right? A pretty good drama overall…definitely worth the watch. Good performance all round too especially Daniel Day Lewis as Jack the aging hippie and Camille Belle as Rose the daughter gone wild.

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Confessions of an American Girl (2002)

Jena Malone plays Rena a teenager living in a trailer park with her mom, brother Jay (Brad Renfro) and half sister Barbie (Alicia Witt). She is suicidal and pregnant as a result of an affair with her secret popular boyfriend. Rena also has this notion that her life would be better if her dear father, who used to read her bedtime stories..or issit rhymes when she was little, had more part in her life…except that of course he’s in prison. So when the annual family picnic at the prison arrives…she convinces her mother to let her go there.

Two reasons why I wanted to watch this. One. Jena Malone. I think she’s a great actress…maybe one of the best actresses of her generation …too bad she doesn’t get too much notice since she doesn’t act in one of those popular teen flicks. Mostly she’s in those smaller drama and dark comedy type of films playing interesting complex characters. You’d might want to check out Stepmom, Donnie Darko, Life as a House and Dangerous Lives of the Altar Boys.

Second. Brad Renfro. Where has he been lately? This is the most recent I’ve seen him in. I liked the movies he did as a child. The client was an excellent debut for him. In Sleepers, his and the other child actors performances pretty much outshined the adults… which was no mean feat considering there was Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt And Minnie Driver. And then there was the Apt Pupil… which was pretty wicked.

**May Contain Spoilers**

Ok…so getting back to the movie. I like dark comedies and so I rather enjoyed this movie. Rena is a naive and rather childlike too. She believes she’s in love with her secret boyfriend…who obviously is just using her. She even thinks that the child she is pregnant with is some type of blessing and the three of them will live happily ever after. And when she failed to have that “I’m pregnant with your child “ conversation with her boyfriend she tries to commit suicide by hanging herself…and since this is a dark comedy…she fails at this one too as the branch, or was it the rope,…wasn’t strong enough. Of course she would make further attempts as the story progresses…like trying to overdose herself with children’s vitamins…yes go figure. I thought the conversation of her mother and the paramedic following the “attempted” suicide was quite funny.

Another thing about Rena…is that she loves her absent Daddy. She has this faint memory of him reading bedtime stories…and she pictures him to be a loving father…if only he was more around…her life would be much better and happier. Maybe he would even be happy that she is pregnant… So determine to see her father she convinces her mother and siblings to go to the picnic.

Since the majority of the film takes place in the prison. I won’t go into it any further…I don’t want ruin the movie for anyone. But I think it’s safe to say Rena’s father is not as she imagined him to be. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed the movie. It is funny, quirky and yet quite sad and tragic in dark comedy type of way. Jena Malone does a fine job here. Rena can be absolutely irritating in her naive ness…that makes you want to knock some sense into her…cause like its soo obvious…why cann’t you see!! But she is likeable, rather innocent, vulnerable and childlike and you feel sorry for her. Plus I guess we all can relate to the living in denial part. And Brad Renfro…whoa…he actually plays Rena’s gay brother here…what a change from the other characters he’s used to playing…and I think he pulled it off.

Wow…I got carried away here…I’ve written a tad too long. I’ll wrap it up. Good movie. Good story. Good Performances Thoroughly enjoyed it. If you enjoy dark comedies…you’ll probably enjoy this one. I’ll give it 3.5/5

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