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All The Real Girls - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

THE Sundance Film Festival continues to deliver the best independent movies of any given year. Having already previewed the likes of American Splendor and Confidence, we now turn our attentions to All The Real Girls, a genuinely affecting love story which picked up the Special Jury Prize for Emotional Truth.

Set in a small town somewhere in the south of America, the film is the story of a smalltown Lothario (Paul Schneider) who falls in love with the little sister (Zooey Deschanel) of his best friend, Tip (Shea Whigham) after years spent sowing his seeds with virtually every other girl in town.

Written and directed by David Gordon Green, the film represents a genuine attempt to film a 'believable' love story and, together with his critically-acclaimed debut, George Washington, marks the 27-year-old filmmaker as one to watch in the coming years.

Aside from its success at Sundance, All the Real Girls has taken critics in America by storm, being awarded some glowing reviews when it opened a couple of weeks ago in a limited number of cinemas.

Green, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, insists that he wanted to make something that felt real, but that wasn't negative or about the dark things in life.

"I wanted to reflect my own personal turmoil of a guy who makes mistakes but whose heart is trying," he states. "Creating that kind of emotion with your actors is the most exciting, rewarding thing you can possibly do."

Green has been a huge film fan since childhood, so much so that he claims to be the first ever member of Blockbuster. He maintains that the first video rental store went up in Dallas, in his neighbourhood, and he was in the queue to join a full hour and a half before it opened.

He remains hopelessly attracted to the American films of the 1970s and claims that every sensibility he has, about performance, editing, narrative structure, music, comes from there.

"These are the films I respond to emotionally 100%. They take human instinct into consideration," he explains.

Having learned about the filmmaking process at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Green then went out and made George Washington for a mere $50,000, using the people he went to school with. Ironically, despite the critical acclaim it has since attracted, it was turned down for the Sundance Film Festival of its year.

However, undeterred, Green returned to largely the same group for All the Real Girls, which was made for a more respectable $1 million, and appears to have hit the jackpot in terms of the exposure it has now given him.

Having entered an impressive number of top 10 lists in 2000 for his debut, the smart money is now on the director repeating the trick with his latest.

Click here to read the full LA Times article...


What the US critics thought...

Entertainment Weekly, as usual, leads this round-up, by declaring that All the Real Girls 'is a revelation in its ability to capture how love really feels - which is to say, like a blur, like an assemblage, like a collage of revisited moments, mixed-up feelings, and disjointed details that defy linear narrative'.

It awarded the film an A and went on to rave: "This fresh, stirring movie by David Gordon Green, about a couple of young people temporarily head over heels about each other, defies linear narrative, and everybody else's idea of narrative, too. It's thrillingly original, lyrical, and wise, and the filmmaker conveys the mutable intensity of young love with the authoritative originality of an important filmmaker." (Click here for the full review).

E! Online, meanwhile, awared it a B+ and declared that 'it's real alright', while FilmCritic.com awarded it four out of five and described it as 'a sumptuous romance that pulsates with the passionate ecstasy of the smitten heart'.

Having already featured extracts from the Los Angeles Times interview with Green, it is only fair to add that the newspaper had this to say about the film itself - 'a sad love story that's insightful at its core'.

While the New York Post declared that 'it's the little things that resonate in this tender and sincere tale of first love', awarding it three out of four.

The New York Times, meanwhile, stated that it is 'remarkable for its genuine, unpretentious lyricism', and The Onion's A.V Club stated that 'Green lets images pick up where words leave off and lets a generosity of spirit guide the film'.

Slant Magazine added to the tributes by stating that it 'demonstrates a reality that most films are either unable or afraid to touch'.

Even those who posted mixed reviews found something to praise, with Village Voice writing that 'this earnest love story is borderline insufferable, and yet there are moments that, in their bold incoherence, have a startling emotional truth'.

LA Weekly, on the other hand, opined that '[the director's] calculated manner gets in the way of the honest emotion he means to convey'.

Yet, overall, the negative vibe remained with a few. Hollywood Reporter gushed, that 'his [Green's] theme is first love - a director-slayer if ever there was one - yet Green makes it fresh, funny and infinitely sad, as he uses this theme to open up characters to undiscovered realms within themselves'.

The final two words, however, go to the San Francisco Chronicle, which described All the Real Girls as 'a movie that eliminates Hollywood gloss and pop cliches - and in their place offers an honest look at young love and its pitfalls', and to the San Diego Union Tribune, which concluded 'this is a real deal about people of interest, and filmmaker Green is truly ripening'.

Keep hitting these pages to discover our verdict when the film is released later this year...

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