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Pretty Persuasion

  • Film

Time Out says

Self-styled high-school outsider Evan Rachel Wood’s 15-year-old Kimberly is secretly planning media stardom, but how to stand out from all the other wannabes? The answer, which is bad news for her girlfriend Brittany (Elizabeth Harnois) and her naïve Arab mascot (Adi Schnall), who’re inveigled in on the deal – and even worse news for leering English instructor Mr Anderson (Ron Livingston) – is to stir up accusations of molestation against the teaching staff at this prestigious California establishment and wait for the TV crews to roll in.

There’s barbed humour here, posited on the sexually precocious protagonist standing up in court to defend her innocence, and much über-bitch dialogue too, yet it all seems like it’s aiming at a rather large and obvious target. Actually, the too-stately direction and over-conceived time-structure take a lot of the fun out of it, while the eventual attempt to wring some genuine emotion from the whole darn mess is simply incompatible with the flip attitudes the movie’s been flaunting thus far. Wood, though, is uncannily poised, utterly imperious and surely destined for better than this.
Written by Trevor Johnston
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