Dave's Rating:

4.5

… might be the best thing to happen …

Who's in It: Amber Tamblyn, Tilda Swinton, Timothy Hutton, Melissa Leo, Jim Gaffigan

The Basics: The former Joan of Arcadia goes off the deep end and gets teen-pregnant by a guy she meets at a kegger. Then she gives birth in a women's restroom on a high-school ski trip (in a scene that registers in the red on the Intense-o-Meter) and maybe kills the newborn. Or maybe not. But before she stands trial, she has to see a forensic psychologist (Swinton) to determine her competency and possibly get to the truth.

What's the Deal? Hey, kids, I know your sex-ed class in high school has been hijacked by the religious right, and no one's allowed to talk about how condoms help prevent disease and pregnancy anymore and that you're supposed to just keep it in your pants until you're married at, like, what, age 28 or so? And that means that this movie — which isn't really an "issue" or "message" movie at all — might be the best thing to happen to telling the truth and to teen-representation on film in a while. The whole thing is a bummer, of course, but if you're tired of the crap the studios feed you about what it means to be young (and in this case, desperate), here's the total opposite of that.

So Now That You Know That It's About a Baby-Killing Teenage Girl and That It Won't Make You Feel Good About Your Life or Anyone Else's, Here's Why You Should Still See It: First of all, because Swinton is quite possibly the most interesting actress around right now. And here you get to see her be a normal woman with normal problems instead of a Narnia villainess or an immortal body-switching enigma like in Orlando. And Tamblyn, if there's justice beyond the Independent Spirit Awards, will be remembered for being as unnerving as a person can be without shouting you into a stupor. She chills you quietly.

Pedigree: From writer/director Hilary Brougher, who made the weird 1997 indie The Sticky Fingers of Time.

For Fans Of: The Deep End, The Brood, She's Having a Baby, Female Trouble.

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