All the Real Girls (2003)


Warning, if you watch this on DVD, avoid the commentary at all costs. This is a case where the creators are inarticulate nitwits, but what they have created has a particularly intelligent design.

Superficially, this is the simple formula: boy meets girl; boy loses girl; boy gets girl back. With this edition, the two leads — and particularly the girl — are more honest and nuanced than usual. Zooey is the daughter of one of the industry’s best infill cinematographers. These are the equivalent of session players who know how to fill all the holes in an ordinary song to give it illusions of fullness and complexity. (For instance, he kept Mel Gibson’s controversial, smarmy redaction from looking bad.)

Green is a student of this technique. What we have is a film in which the story is the background. The foreground is a series of wonderful compositions with cinematic power. The one that really impressed me was a bowling alley scene where Zooey stands in the middle of the alley with her back to Paul and he dances in the same fashion we saw him do in a clown suit with his similarly redheaded mother.

It is worth watching for that scene alone, though there are several others. And Zooey impresses.

Posted in 2004

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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