Palindromes  [DVD]
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Controversial coming-of-age drama from director Todd Solondz. After attending her cousin's funeral, 13-year-old Aviva (played by eight different actors over the course of the story) determines to have as many children as possible, outraging her conservative parents Joyce (Ellen Barkin) and Steve (Richard Masur). Getting pregnant in one random encouter, Aviva is forced into having an abortion that leaves her sterile. Running away from home, she finds herself in the company of a strange, fanatically anti-abortion religious group planning to murder a doctor.
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is high on symbolism and is broken down into sections –rather than scenes, In each section Aviva changes character –no not acting style but actually appears as a different person changing from a black girl to white, from chubby to slim, from pre teen to late teen, tall to short reflecting the fact that things may appear different but like the Palindrome it’s the same however you look at it –you have to see it to understand it. It’s not nice viewing by any means and is sure to enrage some and upset others, but it is bold and thought provoking from Mama Sunshines houseful of disabled children to the anti abortion pro lifers who actually plan an assassination! [I won’t say if they carry it out or not –well you gotta have some mystery]. Yep it’s bizarre but never smutty.Read more ›
All of these characters are deeply human...wounded souls...some do wonderful things for selfish reasons, some do horrible things for noble reasons...others seem to merely survive. There are a number of standout performances, and there are other performances where you look at the screen and are trying to figure out "Is that on purpose?" For example, the opening "Aviva" is a young African-American actress of probably 9 or 10...quite honestly, she's a rather horrid actress who appears to be reading lines off the cue card...while she looks adorable...well, her delivery was simply awkward...and yet, as time went on, I found this characterization balancing wonderfully with the others...perhaps the most powerful portrayal is offered by the "Mama Sunshine" Aviva...portrayed by Sharon Wilkins, a large African-American female...older, and clearly not a child...clearly not innocent...Read more ›
I loved "Happiness" by the same director, which was mercilessly hilarious in the way it ridiculed modern sexual manners. But this? It's well enough made and there's some irony, some Christian-bashing, and one or two moments of Happiness-style close-to-the-bone black humour. But funny it ain't. Maybe I'm just not sick enough.
Todd Solondz obviously put a lot of work in trying to say something, but it's not clear what. Perhaps it's a morality comedy aimed at the 12-year-old girl market? Apologies if I'm missing something, but Todd has gone a bit overboard in the arthouse-pretentious-teenage school of film making.
I gave it two stars rather than one because I think someone will appreciate it more than me, I just can't think who.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The plot of 'Palindromes' revolves around a twelve year old girl named Aviva. Young Aviva has always wanted to be a mother and soon enough manages to get herself pregnant. Read morePublished on 4 July 2010 by Ernie
this is about as far from disney that it gets. thank god for todd solondz! this is a splice of life delivered with astonishing frankness. Read morePublished on 11 Oct. 2008 by Scooterboy
happiness = excellent
storytelling = poor
palimdrones = waste of time
minimal plot, poor acting, irrlevant characters...just a really annoying tedious film. Read more
Once again Tod Solondz brings us a film that shakes us out of our liberal moral complacencies, providing an experience that is disturbing and yet touching, and in this case deeply... Read morePublished on 14 Nov. 2005 by Bruno