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Welcome To The Dollhouse 1995

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4.7 out of 5 stars (15) IMDb 7.5/10
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Twelve-year-old Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) is perhaps the most put-upon adolescent in film history in Todd Solondz's bitterly hilarious black comedy Welcome to the Dollhouse. Dawn is bright but awkward, both physically and socially, and is appallingly unpopular among her peers, to whom she's better known as Wienerdog. Possessing little charm or grace and perhaps the most misguided fashion sense of her generation, Dawn is not an easy girl to like and practically no one seems interested in making the effort. If life is tough for Dawn at school, it's hardly any better at home. While her folks dote on her gratingly cute younger sister Missy (Daria Kalinina) and look with pride to her bookish older brother Mark (Matthew Faber), Dawn is either ignored or treated as an annoyance. Dawn has developed a crush on Steve (Eric Mabius), the hunky guitarist Mark has drafted into his rock band (significantly, Mark is less interested in making cool noise or unloading teenage angst than in having another extracurricular activity to put on his college applications); Steve is polite but obviously not interested in her. However, Dawn has attracted the attention of a boy at school -- Brandon (Brendan Sexton), a mean-spirited junior thug whose idea of a good time is threatening Dawn with rape. A painfully accurate account of life in junior high (what Matt Groening called the lowest pit of hell), Welcome to the Dollhouse is also very funny, but writer and director Todd Solondz never lets the film's humor dilute the agony of its leading character; anyone who has ever been 12 years old will doubtless laugh at Dawn while uncomfortably recalling the horror of their own preteen years.~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Victoria Davis, Eric Mabius
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 28 minutes
Starring Victoria Davis, Eric Mabius, Siri Howard, Heather Matarazzo, Christina Vidal, Christina Brucato, Brendan Sexton III
Director Todd Solondz
Genres Comedy, Drama
Studio FUSION MEDIA
Rental release 26 September 2005
Main languages English

Other Formats

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Format: DVD
The story focusses on nerdy Dawn 'Weinerdog' Weiner. She's a seventh grader on a mission to gain some popularity at school. But it seems all her efforts are wasted when she's constantly ridiculed by pupils, teachers and even her own family, who always side with her pretty little sister Missy.
The result is an hilarious yet seriously realistic look at the dispair of pre-teen life. Heather Matarazzo also does an excellent job in portraying the dim-witted Miss Weiner, especially as she had no prior experience in the acting field. At times it's obvious we're witnissing an untrained actress, but she adds a certain tragedy to the character. The desperation and the shamelessness she delivers in the 'Grade Grubbing' scene has me in stitches every time.
I'd recommend this film if you're into dark humoured films such as 'Heathers', 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' or 'freeway'.
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Format: VHS Tape
Bold, unabashedly honest, psychologically riveting, and painfully mesmerizing are just a few of the words and expressions that come to mind when I think about this uniquely extraordinary film. First shown at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, Welcome to the Dollhouse walked away with the grand jury prize, and it is easy to see why. Writer/director/producer Todd Solondz brought a unique vision of the sharpest kind to this film, cutting right through the fluff of the typical "geek makes good" nonsense and forcing his artistic scalpel forcefully down into the nethermost regions of the adolescent heart. The story is so unsettling and painfully uncomfortable that some parents hesitated or refused to let their children participate in the filming. It's just an amazing, unforgettable movie.
Eleven-year-old Heather Matarrazzo gives one of the most remarkable performances I've ever seen from an actress of such tender age. Her eyes and bodily expressions encapsulate and transmit the hurt and misery writhing inside her every moment, leaving the viewer helpless to do anything but watch with increasingly unrestrained unease. Born with the unfortunate name of Dawn Weiner, the poor girl is ridiculed, ignored, teased, insulted, and basically mentally terrorized every day at school. Chants of "Weiner Dog" follow her throughout the hallways, her locker is marked with awful graffiti, and even her teachers and administrators are less than kind to her. Then, after school, she has to come home to parents who dote on her smart older brother and "little miss perfect" younger sister. Dawn has only one friend, a younger neighbor boy who seems to be following in her ignominiously alienated footsteps.
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Format: DVD
This is a difficult film to review without giving away much of the plot. Basically you'll either identify or relate to some extent with the main character [and love it] or won't [and will hate it]. From the start we see a nervous Dawn Weiner [11-year-old Heather Matarrazzo] sigh deeply as she slowly tries to find a seat in the school canteen. Instantly we are thrown head first into her world of ridicule and insult where she is daily either teased or ignored but always mentally terrorized. The "Weiner Dog" is taunted endlessly, her locker is marked with spiteful graffiti, her teacher is mean to her. Things are not much better at home where cute little sis Missy is so spoilt she always gets her way -usually at dawns expense, while brother mark is the stereotypical science nerd on whom the families future hopes seem to lay. This isn't to say that Dawn deserves all our sympathy, for she turns much of the hatred thrown at her straight back onto others around her.
We watch various events unfold in Dawns bizarre world and witness her distorted relationships with others. Who cannot watch this without feeling some sympathy as Dawn tries to do the right thing, then gets knocked back for it? It's a bit of an emotional roller-coaster and much of the plot is hinted, rather than stated or depicted. Despite covering a wide range of taboo subjects from bullying through to under age sex and child kidnapping, there is no nudity as in other films of its type [eg Pretty baby -Brook Shields, etc] yet this rather bleak and depressing movie never fails to keep the attention with its constant friction.
The ending is left reasonably open and hints at some light at the end of the dark tunnel of High School.
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Format: VHS Tape
This film is one of my favourite films that I have watched. Dawn Weiner is the classic child in the middle with her older brother who her parents adore due his intelligence and her younger sister who parent also adore due to her being all sweet and cute. But for Dawn, her parents just see her as a nuisance and they wish they never had her. She's not all that bright, popular or cute. She falls in love with the person who bullies her the most who also has a sercret crush on her. This disturbing tale of preferential treatmeant and alienation will make you feel sorry for her while make you laugh at the same time. Heather Matarazzo gives an excellent performance as Dawn as does the rest of the cast.This movie is one of a kind and you must see it as it will affect your life.
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