In Bodeen, Texas, Land Of The Dragon, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.
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Ellen Page is amazing, as always, and has brought to life another beautiful indie film. Marcia Gay Harden makes a wonderful pushy mother, and Drew Barrymore has really done herself proud with her directing.
An inspiring film about finding yourself, despite everything, and a complete must-see
At The Movies
Whip It (PG) * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Talent runs through some families. Take the case of Drew Barrymore for example. No longer just the child star from E.T. Ms. Barrymore has risen through the ranks to become a top actor and producer. To this list now add director as she makes a rousing debut at the helm of Whip It, an exciting yarn from Fox Searchlight now firing up spectators at the Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking), the Fifth Avenue Cinemas, Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City sites around B.C.
My, has Ms. Barrymore learned well. Directors have a number of functions to fulfill including the all important casting approval. Here the filmmakers have lucked out with a great lead, strong supporting actors and a great atmosphere. Oh, did I mention a pretty good story too. Whip It has got it all.
Small town values versus big scale dreams play pivotal parts to the motivation of our central character. Bliss Cavendar is one mixed up young girl. Still at school Bliss is being Ã¢â‚¬Å“primedÃ¢â‚¬Â to attend (and win) beauty contests by her rather domineering mom Brooke. Then one day, quite by chance, Bliss comes across the sport of roller derby. Against all odds Bliss breaks with tradition, gets turned on by the sport, and actually tries out for a local team. Yes, in the best Hollywood fashion this little lady becomes a member of the team and the rest, as they say, is history.
Lead actress Ellen Page gets most of her recognition from being the star of Juno. Watch her in Hard Candy and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll quickly see she has Oscar written all over her. Here Page is terrific as the little lady who tries to shake things up. All the coverage on the rink, where the ladies ply their skill, is riveting though weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen these sports scenarios all too often. Barrymore succeeds in creating an exciting competitive atmosphere and fully fleshes out the characters that revolve around BlissÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life. Topics of peer pressure, bullying, romance and family values are wonderfully captured here in this high spirited movie.
Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock) makes good as a domineering mom with a stare that could kill. Even as he goes Daniel Stern (City Slickers) also comes across well as a loving parent in a cast of very well presented characters from a host of different backgrounds. In your face footage of the actual bouts on the track add a zest to this movie and should lead to a revival in interest for this once popular sport.
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