Laura Smiles

Genre: Drama; Starring: Kip Pardue, Petra Wright, Mark Derwin; Director: Jason Ruscio; Author: Jason Ruscio; Runtime (in minutes): 94; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Kindred Media Group

There aren’t many movies that embrace the power of a woman’s erotic rage, but Jason Ruscio’s video-shot angst-of-the-suburbs psychodrama Laura Smiles is fueled by it. As Laura, who loses the man she loves (Kip Pardue) and ends up married, miserable, and lashing out in a promiscuous fury, Petra Wright quivers with lust and fear — an eclipse of the soul made terrifyingly real. Then the film leaps back, with surprising tenderness, to see who she was before. There’s an unconvincing last-act twist, but this is the movie Little Children wanted to be.

Originally posted August 1 2007 — 12:00 AM EDT

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