- Running time:
- 106 minutes
- Juno Temple -
- Jeremy Dozier -
- Milla Jovovich -
- William H. Macy -
- Mary Steenburgen -
["Dirty Girl" premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. The following is an excerpt from Metromix's coverage of the festival.]
Quirky teen road movie "Dirty Girl" features its biggest names in supporting roles—Milla Jovovich, Mary Steenburgen, William H. Macy, Dwight Yoakam and Tim McGraw. The story is actually driven by a high school girl with a bad reputation (Juno Temple) who brings along her gay friend (Jeremy Dozier) on a search for the father she’s never met.
What starts out as a condescending and rather dumb portrait of Oklahoma life, eventually strives for deeper emotional resonance. It's difficult to transition from mocking characters to begging for our empathy, but the first feature from writer-director Abe Sylvia nearly pulls it off with the help of a strong cast.
The film's tonal shifts perhaps intentionally parallel the growing maturity of the "Dirty Girl" at its center, and Sylvia's biggest win is the true breakout star turn by Temple. She was a scene-stealer earlier this year in Greg Araki's "Kaboom," but this is a full blown showcase for her killer comic timing and serious dramatic chops. Temple turns what could have been a caricature into a genuine emotional anchor for an often wobbly narrative. Dozier shows his relative inexperience in the sidekick role but the adult cast is generally strong.
When The Weinstein Company made entertainment headlines by acquiring the film at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, the move seemed to suggest indie breakout potential. Whether or not that comes to pass, Temple deserves bigger and better material.
Follow Metromix's Geoff Berkshire on Twitter: @geoffberkshire
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