Kimberly Pierce

The Cruelty of Growing Up: Carrie

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As far as formative experiences go, high school is one of the big ones. There is nothing like the stress of trying to fit in, one of those age old stories that effectively describes humanity cruelty to one another and to the Other. You could argue that, from high school on, everything is the same, just perhaps more brutal and more overt in this enormous seeming microcosm with deadly fluorescent lights. But no one is deadlier than Carrie White, whose special powers render others to be lifted up or to be thrown into deep peril. In Kimberly Pierce’s adaptation of Stephen King’s breakout novel Carrie, the director and screenwriters Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lawrence D. Cohen update high school Hell to contemporary times, offering a middling depiction of the bitch of growing up and finding empowerment.

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2012 in Film: #85 – Stop-Loss

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2012 in Film: #85

Stop-Loss (2008) | Directed by Kimberly Pierce

Grade: C

Thoughts: What we have here is a film with a very clear message. And though that film, directed by the woman who also directed Boys Don’t Cry, knows what that message is, it feels the need to bash it into the audience’s head absolutely mercilessly. What could have been a very, very interesting character study of men who get out of the army very damaged (in a Deer Hunter or Paths of Glory kind of way), it is instead a movie that feels the need to shove its socio-political message down the audience’s throat. This might be forgiveable if it were filmed well. Jumping back and forth between flash backs, a cinema verite style camera work, and then a fairly calm style of cinematography, it ends up being a mish mash of sad attempts to be stylish. It’s also hard to have empathy for the characters, who are damaged to the point of being insufferable. Shame. (Granted, there is some good acting.)