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Movie Review: Palindromes

Alternate Title: Yo, Oy!

Story: Wow! Director and writer Todd Solendz has once again delivered a head scratching, sure to be controversial film. No one does suburban angst and dysfunction quite the way he does.

The characters we meet in his bleak, often satirical universe remind me of photographer Diane Arbus' subjects coming to life up on the big screen - strange, yet somehow familiar. Our main character, Aviva, is played by eight different actors including two women, four girls around age13, an androgynous boy, a six year old black girl and an overweight black woman. The story is linear and the actors merge into the Aviva role as if in a ghost like form. The story is presented in chapters.

Like a palindrome, our main character does not change regardless of the dramatic events that are occurring to her. She moves forward and backward in life and she remains the same.

This film touches on many controversial topics including the extremists in the right to life issue, abortion, pedophilia and the intense almost cult like world of some of the born again Christians.

If you like to be challenged by the strange world of Todd Solendz check this film out. Also Google the many web sites devoted to Palindromes. Who knew there were that many people interested in palindromes? Some that I use often are: Huh?, LOL and SOS!

Acting: The Aviva character was played beautifully by all of the eight actors. Ellen Barkin as the mother was hilarious. Special kudos to Debra Monk as Mama Sunshine and little Alexander Bricket as Peter Paul.

Predilection: I am interested in director Todd Solendz.

Critters: One sweet dog named Cuddles.

Food: Some Freedom (French) Toast, hot dogs, hamburgers and french fries.

Soundtrack: Hilarious

Opening Titles: We open on a somber, yet funny funeral home scene. Todd Solendz groupies will know that the suicide victim is the character, Dawn Weiner from his first film, Welcome to the Dollhouse.

Visual Art: Some very funny wall art in the homes of the characters.

Theater Audience: About twelve people, four of whom left the theater before the film was over .I laughed in a number of places when no one else did. My movie buddy thought my reactions very odd.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 4

Squirm Scale: Pedophilia is a very squirmy topic.

Predictability Level: Did not have a clue where this film was headed.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: No nits to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. For Solendz' other work try renting: Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness and Storytelling.

Length: Under two hours.