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Lawn Dogs

Rural Kentucky. Ten-year-old Devon (Mischa Barton, hypnotic) strikes up a dangerous friendship with Trent (Rockwell), a trailer-trash lawnmower man. Their bond is established early on: Trent stripping in a traffic jam to dive off a bridge into the river; Devon stripping off her nightdress to howl naked at the moon. He's literally an outsider, exiled before dusk from the suburban fortress whose lawns he keeps from growing wild; she's a metaphorical outsider, a sickly child who dreams of Baba Yaga and the fleeing girl who drops a comb and causes an impenetrable wood to spring up behind her. While innocent, Devon's proto-sexual adoration of Trent makes their relationship as uncomfortable for the viewer as for her hypocritically straight parents. When they're dancing on the roof of Trent's truck and mooning at the security guard, they're carefree kids; when they start to compare scars, it's childhood's end. Australian director John Duigan's best films have dealt with the passage from childhood to adolescence, and here, in his first US film (from British producer Duncan Four Weddings Kenworthy), he maintains an atmosphere where dream is a short step from nightmare. Quirkily haunting.

Release details

Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Duigan
Screenwriter: Naomi Wallace
Cast: Sam Rockwell
Christopher McDonald
Kathleen Quinlan
Bruce McGill
Mischa Barton
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