DVD - 2009
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Set in rural Alabama in the late 1950s, Lewellen lives with her stern grandmother, Grammie, but spends most of her time with her much-adored Daddy in his dilapidated shack. Daddy's wild side is tempered by his beautiful but troubled girlfriend, Ellen, who has a mysterious history but calming influence on the lonely, young girl. Lewellen is deeply talented and finds comfort and safety, as well as a place to put her hurt and rage, in the music of Elvis Presley. When Elvis Presley comes to town for a concert, Lewellen is desperate to go but has no money for a ticket. In a naïve attempt to get a ticket, Lewellen falls into a compromising situation that steals her innocence and leaves her feeling even more alone and hopeless. It is up to the caretaker, Charles, to help Lewellen overcome the wounding of her spirit and save her soul. He teaches her to use the Blues to turn her tragedy into a gift-- bringing light out of darkness and hope out of adversity.


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IMCHRE8TV Dec 28, 2011

The film was dissed overall by paid critics who I believe may have been turned off by Dakota Fanning in a non-Susy Sunshine plot. This is a movie that asks you to consider reality, i.e. that the disenfranchised are truly vulnerable, and how the darker side of human nature preys on this population. Yes, the story was dark, but it was told very well, and showed that life in the South in the 50s was not just challenging for Blacks,but for poor whites as well, and in this story, poor young white girls. Robin Wright Penn was credible as David Morse's (Dakota's Dad's) sex partner/punching bag and Dakotas reluctant friend/protector. Highlights of the film included Jill Scott doing a brief turn as Big Mama Thornton, Dakota's character's dad being struck by lightning while riding a tractor in a cornfield and Dakota's character walking along a dirt road at night when suddenly Elvis appears as he is riding by on his way into town for a gig. I enjoyed the film in part because it showed Dakotas character making do with what she had and enjoying it for the most part until she is exploited by her best friend for the price of a concert ticket.

Jul 01, 2009

Skip It - Hounddog (2007) 102 min. Dakota Fanning is a very good actress; this film proves that without any doubt. Unfortunately, the film is so ugly in scope that it was not enjoyable in the least. Every bad thing that could happen to this child eventually does as she discovers for herself a life path. While Dakota goes about exploring life, she obsesses over the music of Elvis (hence, the title). There's a lot of pain in this film and we the viewers are subjected to it - maybe with luck, you don't have to.

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