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Stephanie Daley [DVD] [2006]

Timothy Hutton , Amber Tamblyn , Hilary Brougher    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 6.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Hutton, Amber Tamblyn, Tilda Swinton
  • Directors: Hilary Brougher
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Cornerstone Media
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Dec 2009
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000P0JP9M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,458 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

When 16-year-old Stephanie Daley is accused of murdering her newborn, she claims she never knew she was pregnant and that the child was stillborn. A forensic psychologist, Lydie Crane, is hired to determine the truth behind Stephanie's continuing state of denial. Lydie is pregnant herself and grappling with a shaky marriage as well as a growing intuition that something may go wrong with her own unborn child. Her encounters with Stephanie soon lead her to believe that unraveling the teenager's mystery is crucial to her own fate. The resulting parallel journeys lead each woman to a place of self-realization and acceptance

About the Director

Winner of Best Director Award; Jackson Hole Festival and Milan International Film Festival.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and unsettling indie drama. 3 July 2010
By Ernie TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Lyndie Crane is a forensic psychologist hired by the state prosecutors' office to assess 16 year old Stephanie Daley, a shy and mild mannered Christian schoolgirl who has been accused of murdering her newborn baby.
Lyndie's job is to determine whether the state prosecutor has a viable case against Stephanie, did she knowingly kill her premature child? Was she honestly ignorant to the fact she was pregnant? or is she deceiving everyone around her?
The film follows the lives of the two female leads and during a series of informal interviews led by Lyndie, Stephanie's story is retold from the time she conceived, too prematurely giving birth 27 weeks after conception. Lindie's story is told in the present day, she's 29 weeks pregnant with a baby which was conceived only three months after giving birth to a stillborn child and her relationship with her husband is often strained due to unspoken and unresolved issues in their past.
Both Tilda Swinton and Amber Tamblyn give exceptional, understated natural performances, the direction and script from Hilary Brougher is both delicate and expertly paced, and the last 20 minutes of this film are intense, unsettling and deeply moving as the final parts of Stephanie's story are revealed.
If you're expecting a crime based drama you'll be disappointed, this is a beautifully crafted character based film which sensitively deals with an uncomfortable subject matter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'The truth is what we believe' 26 Nov 2013
By babyday
Amber tamblyn plays 16 yr old 'Stephanie daley',who has been accused of murdering her newborn baby & faces criminal charges.Stephanie claims she had no prior knowledge that she was pregnant & that the baby was stillborn.A forensic psychologist,Lydie crane(Tilda swinton)is brought in to question her & find out whether she concealed her pregnancy & what really happened.Lydie herself is pregnant & struggling with her own demons & the 2 womens stories are told throughout the movie as the truth of what really happened comes to light.
Excellent hard hitting indie drama.Tilda swinton is great but this film belongs to Amber tamblyn.I was already a fan of hers(being a fan of 'Joan of arcadia') which is what led me to this film.I just never knew what an amazingly powerful actress she is.She is moving & plays the character with such an emotional rawness- bringing this viewer almost to tears! I just wish she did more roles as amazing as this one! If you like haunting films about difficult subjects then you will definitely like this.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars through a glass, darkly 2 Sep 2010
This is a gloomy film, but it held my interest, just. I ordered it because the New Yorker gave it rave reviews and because I'm a Tilda fan. The bathroom scene got me out of my semi-stupor for its duration. The rest is just above mediocre.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystallized Brilliance 6 Sep 2007
By RHC - Published on
Captivating and hypnotic portrayals by Tilda Swinton and Amber Tamblyn

Magnetic acting by Timothy Hutton, Denis O'Hare, and Melissa Leo, who receive excrutiatingly minimal screen time portraying crucial characters

Spellbinding cinematography and imagery and allusions

Painstakingly realistic situations, events, conversations, human interactions

A film about how people interact and communicate with each other in difficult situations that will change their lives missed opportunities of communication permanently transform the lives of treasured events in women's lives - loss of virginity and pregnancy - are seemingly always subverted and mistreated and degraded by lack of clear communication...
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting, well-acted human drama 8 Sep 2007
By Z Hayes - Published on
This is a true gem of a movie that has tremendous depth, exploring sensitive topics like teen sex, teen pregnancy,its repercussions and fears that accompany women through marriage & motherhood. The subject matter is controversial but in the hands of capable writer-director Hilary Brougher, the story is told with clarity, poignancy and sensitivity.

The story centers around Stephanie Daley, a 16 year old teenager who is accused of murdering her newborn infant daughter whilst on a school ski trip. The role is played to perfection by Amber Tamblyn, and her portrayal of a shy adolescent trying to find a social niche at school is at times hard to watch, though played with a high level of credibility. The flashbacks of Stephanie recalling the past, especially the public restroom scene of the birth itself is something one will not soon forget, and Amber Tamblyn portrays the teen's pain, horror and shame to chilling effect.

The other main role, that of forensic psychologist Lydia Crane is played by Tilda Swinton. Lydia herself is five months pregnant, and beset with doubts about her impending motherhood [having suffered a stillbirth a year ago] and also the strains on her emotionally fragile marriage [husband is played by Timothy Hutton]. Lydia's job is to evaluate Stephanie's mental capacity before a competency hearing. Swinton is well-cast as the emotionally fragile Crane, but ultimately her problems do not seem to be as serious as the ones facing young Stephanie. It is indeed to Tamblyn's credit that she makes the viewer care so much more about Stephanie and wanting to see how she comes out of the crisis. Throughout Stephanie's sessions with Crane, and especially in the flashbacks, one feels a strong sense of sympathy for the fragile teen who seems lost and frightened, and increasingly isolated.

All in all, Stephanie Daley is a compelling human drama that portrays a sensitive topic with unflinching and painful honesty. Highly recommended!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars intriguing human drama 19 Feb 2008
By Roland E. Zwick - Published on

In "Stephanie Daley," Tilda Swinton stars as Lydie Crane, a forensic psychologist in her final months of pregnancy. Despite her condition and the fact that she had a miscarriage less than a year earlier, Lydie agrees to take on the case of a teenaged girl named Stephanie Daley (Amber Tamblyn) who is accused of killing her newborn at childbirth.

Written and directed by Hilary Brougher, "Stephanie Daley" is a human drama wrapped inside a legal whodunit (it's sort of like "Agnes Of God" minus the nuns' habits and beatific visions). Set in scenic Upstate New York, the movie explores the anxieties and fears that many women face before, during and after pregnancy. Lydie's situation very much parallels Stephanie's at times, resulting in a strange symbiotic relationship between the two women. Those parallels aren't always as clearly drawn as they might be, but the positive result is that the story is made less obvious and more intriguing by the ambiguity.

"Stephanie Daley" is a low-keyed, thoughtful work that doesn't go in for flashy melodrama or thematic overstatement. It allows its narrative to unfold slowly, finding much of its drama in the minutiae of everyday life in the small town in which it is set.

The movie is blessed with sensitive, subtle work from not only Swinton and Tamblyn but a large cast of secondary performers, including Timothy Hutton, Kel O'Neill, Denis O'Hare, and others. The relationships in the movie are intricate and complex, and the plot doesn't seek out a preset path or formula to follow. It's not a movie designed to appeal to mainstream audiences much, but for those who prefer their films to wander a bit off the well-beaten path, "Stephanie Daley" offers substantial rewards.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing and disempowering message 4 Nov 2007
By Karen Franklin - Published on
Superb acting and unusually realistic portrayals of high school life don't save this movie from its slow pace, artificially contrived premise, and unresolved ambiguities that leave the viewer dangling.

Tilda Swanton plays Lydie Crane, a pregnant forensic psychologist who is still reeling from a stillborn birth just months earlier. Amber Tamblyn, the star of TV's quirky "Joan of Arcadia," plays Stephanie Daley, a confused Christian girl who has somehow lost an accidental pregnancy. Did she murder the premature fetus, or was it born dead? The prosecutor hires Crane to find out.

As a forensic psychologist, I was looking forward to seeing this movie. Instead, I found it hopelessly confused and confusing. The distinctions between the legal concepts of competency (the current ability to comphrehend one's situation and stand trial) and sanity (a past mental state pertaining to the time of an offense) are muddied. Far more troublingly, filmmaker Hilary Braugher confuses moral and legal guilt. One is not legally guilty of killing a baby for merely wishing it dead! And most troubling of all, Crane foists her own ambivalent psychological state onto this confused teenage girl, essentially using her empathetic interviewing skills to collude in the girl's exploitation. In real life (which I realize doesn't have much connection to the movies) Crane's violations of her professional role boundaries would be unethical; Crane probably should have declined a case with so many troubling parallels to her own circumstances.

The movie tackles complex issues about religion, fate versus choice, and women's fear of giving birth. And it has a superficial allure of feminism in its focus on the female experience. But in the end, its message is far from empowering. Should a teen girl really [SPOILER ALERT - DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE AND WANT TO MAINTAIN THE SUSPENSE] go to prison for five years for mere bad thoughts? I breathed a sigh of relief that there aren't too many real-life Lydie Cranes running around to assist such judicial railroads. Also, that I'd seen my last dead deer for awhile.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephanie Daley - 2 Mar 2008
By Stacy Koenig - Published on
Short reveiw on a good movie - I don't want to spoil it.

Lydie Crane (Tilda Swinton)is a psychologist who interviews Stephanie Daley (Amber Tamblyn) about the incident that happened on a school skiing trip, for the court side of the case. Stephanie is accused of murdering her newborn child.

-Stephanie collapses with blood at her feet while skiing.
She didn't know she was pregnant.
-Lydie Crane wants to keep her marriage alive and have a baby. Lydie recently had a still born.

The interweaving of the lives of these two individuals as they look through their past, their present and hopes for the future is done very well. This is a very well acted, deep thought movie.

4 stars
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