Projections - Movie Reviews

Anywhere But Here

What teenager hasn't at some point wanted to run away from a parent who doesn't understand them?

The film opens with Adele (Susan Sarandon) packing up her teen daughter Ann (Natalie Portman) and moving to Beverly Hills, leaving Wisconsin and a second husband behind.

Ann is the responsible one and resents the move with her mother, who dismisses the change as a fun thing to do.  Adele doesn't have a job or a place for them to live, but she has big dreams.

Aging from 14 to 17, Ann misses her family back home, and everyday wishes to be Anywhere But Here.

Seen through the eyes of her daughter, Adele is selfish, embarrassing and outrageously flirty.  Sarandon is wonderful as she throws herself into this character with wild abandon.

Flighty and dramatic, Adele forgets to pay electricity bills, splurges on French restaurants she can't afford and thinks that sharing an ice cream with her daughter will repair their strained relationship.

Ann isn't a shrinking violet though.  She stands up to her mother, talks back to her and resists her at every turn.  Her exasperation is evident in most scenes.  From Portman's earlier role in The Professional it was clear she was a naturally gifted young actress.  She's developed into a beautiful girl, who gives a flawless performance.

Based on the novel of the same name by Mona Simpson, the film is funny and poignant.

Look for both Portman and Sarandon, whose earthy sexiness is perfect for this role, to be considered at Oscar time.

Anywhere But Here

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