Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Absolutely Normal Chaos

Author(s): Evan
Location: NY

"Absolutely Normal Chaos"

Distributor: Miramax
Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Sharon Creech
Cinematography: Roger Deakins
Score: Hans Zimmer

Main Cast

Mary Lou – Anna Sophia Robb
Carl Ray – Paul Dano
Beth Anne – Alyson Stoner
Alex – Luke Benward

Tagline: "The problem is this, though. I don’t want you to read it"

Synopsis: 13 year-old Mary Lou Finney was not at all excited about her latest summer assignment: to keep a journal over the next three months. Boring! But over dinner one night, her father tells her that her cousin, Carl Ray, is coming to stay with them for a while, to work. Carl Ray and the rest of Mary Lou’s father’s family live down in West Virginia. When Carl Ray comes, he is less than anyone in the family is expecting. He mopes around, says “yup” and “nah” and doesn’t have to do ANY of the chores. After a bunch of dull dog days Carl Ray gets a job at their neighbor Mr. Furtz’s hardware store, which means Mary Lou can have a little bit of free time. She spends some time with her gossipy, boy crazy and paranoid best friend Beth Anne, and even gets to hang out with Alex Cheevey, the cutest boy at school. But when Mr. Furtz gets sick and suddenly dies, the entire summer changes. Carl Ray even cries at the memorial service. Mary Lou becomes confused, but is soon swayed away from her family problems when Alex asks her to be his girlfriend. Mary Lou. Caught up in love, family, and the sickening relationship between 17 year-old Carl Ray and Beth Anne, Mary Lou’s summer quickly switches from being the most boring thing in history, to an exciting roller coaster ride. And her journal reflects it! As she watches the absolutely normal confusion around her, Mary Lou investigates into Carl Ray, and finds out that Mr. Furtz was actually his father, and that that was why he had come up north in the first place! Doy! It’s so obvious now…well, that’s life.

What the Press would say:

“Absolutely Normal Chaos” is a very touching, and realistic film about young teens in suburbia. Adapted for the screen by it’s Newberry Award winning author Sharon Creech, this film is by turns sarcastic, clever, tender, and funny, giving viewers a spark of light in this dark year of films. Anna Sophia Robb plays Mary Lou with perfect grace. Using body language and clever wit, the young actress gives this film life, and a sarcastic humor, as she reinvents the role for the screen. Paul Dano is also very well cast as the West Virginian cousin of Mary Lou. Using a style slightly reminiscent of his performance in “Little Miss Sunshine,” Mr. Dano gives it his all in his near silent, emotionally powerful performance. Alyson Stoner also gives a great performance as Beth Anne, Mary Lou’s boy crazed best friend, using fake attitude and phrases she probably doesn’t know, Mrs. Stoner makes this hysterical and eccentric character more three dimensional than on paper. “Chaos” is a very funny, heart wrenching film about how someone’s family will always be a part of their lives, and one summer that changed a girl.

Best Picture
Best Director – Jason Reitman
Best Actress – Anna Sophia Robb
Best Actor – Paul Dano
Best Supporting Actress – Alyson Stoner
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Tagline
Best Online Awards Campaign
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography

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