Friday, May 4, 2007

Heavy but Light: Stephanie Daley

Stephanie Daley
Directed by Hilary Brougher
Released April 20, 2007

Amber Tamblyn stars as Stephanie Daley, a teenager whose life is troubled by the media's obsession with the story about how she murdered her unborn child. Stephanie's experiences are revealed through flashbacks, as legal consultant Lydie Crane tries to understand what happened, while facing a troubling pregnancy of her own.

That summary would indicate that this film would be greatly interesting, but unfortunately its plot is so complex and serious that the resulting film bears little of that complexity. The sequencing is often confusing, yet suprisingly little actually occurs, and very little is discovered throughout the film. The seemingly short running time of just about 90 minutes feels miserably longer.

Tilda Swinton, so fantastic in 2001's "The Deep End," is stuck in a poorly developed role as the conflicted Lydie. Timothy Hutton is hardly memorable as her less-than-present husband. But Amber Tamblyn, formerly seen as the title character in "Joan of Arcadia," as Stephanie, stands out in a role that could have been much better, in a movie that should have been much better.


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