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The Playroom: movie review

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Molly Parker, left, and Olivia Harris in The Playroom
Molly Parker, left, and Olivia Harris in The Playroom

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Not so subtly set on the Friday after Patty Hearst’s 1975 arrest, this suburban kids-aren’t-all-right drama shows a quartet of intense siblings sharing horror stories by candlelight, the eldest (Olivia Harris, particularly affecting) later losing her virginity in the family garage. All four are acting out in a parentless vacuum, with irresponsible adults John Hawkes and Molly Parker making their presence known mainly via the full ashtrays they leave behind. The precedent for a movie like this is Ang Lee’s bruised The Ice Storm, but whereas that film sprung from a novel that burns with indictment, Julia Dyer’s effort—scripted by her late sister, Gretchen—is a more open-ended affair and slightly unsatisfying for it.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

Written by Joshua Rothkopf
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