Blue Car A memory of the automobile in which a father drove away from his family provides the title for Blue Car but no hint of the… Blue Car A memory of the automobile in which a father drove away from his family provides the title for Blue Car but no hint of the… 2003-05-02 R PT87M Drama Agnes Bruckner David Strathairn Regan Arnold Frances Fisher Margaret Colin Miramax
Movie Review

Blue Car (2003)

MPAA Rating: R
Agnes Bruckner, Blue Car | 'BLUE'-LIGHT SPECIAL Bruckner seeks solace
Image credit: Blue Car: Rob Sweeney
'BLUE'-LIGHT SPECIAL Bruckner seeks solace
EW's GRADE
A

Details Limited Release: May 02, 2003; Rated: R; Length: 87 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Agnes Bruckner and David Strathairn; Distributor: Miramax

A memory of the automobile in which a father drove away from his family provides the title for Blue Car but no hint of the power of writer-director Karen Moncrieff's superb feature debut. That blue is the kind of detail Mr. Auster (David Strathairn), a married high school English teacher, encourages his talented 18-year-old student Meg (Agnes Bruckner) to develop in order to deepen as a poet. Auster's attention, in turn, is the caring support Meg comes to crave -- and, dangerously, to trust -- as she struggles with her own depressed, fatherless household.

It's high praise to compare Moncrieff with the dazzling Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (''Ratcatcher,'' ''Morvern Callar''). Each has a knockout storytelling voice and works with a raw, innately feminine strength that scrubs away the soapy film from sad sagas. The bond between Meg and Auster is a marvel of believable complication; Strathairn's portrayal of a flawed man is so moving and Bruckner's Meg so painfully true -- a breakthrough performance -- that thoughts of ''Lolita'' are left far behind. ''Blue Car,'' an independently made film (shot in beautiful 35mm) about becoming a real artist, is at the same time a thrilling example of what it feels like to encounter a real artist at the start of her career. Here's hoping that in her poetic future, Moncrieff will remain independent, free to deepen all the colors of her talent.

Originally posted Apr 30, 2003 Published in issue #709 May 09, 2003 Order article reprints
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