Sweetie

Sweetie

Blu-ray Disc - 1989
Average Rating:
5
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As Tolstoy asserted, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. This unhappy family has never confronted its unhappiness: Sweetie, so called since childhood, the apple of her father Bob's eye and the bane of her mother Flo's smothered existence. Her sister Kay is shy, superstitious, and sexually repressed where Sweetie is loud, slovenly, and quite possibly mentally ill. The family has managed to lead relatively normal lives by denying their bizarre family reality. Sweetie has terrorized her family for years, but an unexpected tragedy is about to loosen her spoiled brat grip on their psyches.
Publisher: [Irvington, NY] : Criterion Collection, 1989
ISBN: 9786314099688
Branch Call Number: SWE
Characteristics: 1 Blu-ray disc (99 min.) : sd., col. ; 12 cm

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I never saw Jane Campion's first feature-length film back in the day, but seeing the Criterion Collection version the other night it made wistful for the 1980s. It is hard to imagine any English-speaking culture being able to produce this kind of movie now. We're too jaundiced and overburdened, our sense of space far too constricted. We're consumed by threats -- political, economic, technological, ecological. A simple picture about the sex drive with a color palette heavy with green and red we don't have time for.

k
KatherineHere
Oct 09, 2016

weirdly fascinating

g
geomillar
Dec 29, 2013

If you thought you came from a dysfunctional family ... watch this film and thank your lucky stars!
Brilliant piece of Auzzie story telling.

theorbys Aug 08, 2012

How does a family work when a person they love is mentally ill, and is vulgar, selfish, and foolish? Sweetie is that person, she is all grown up now, and completely unmanageable, ruining the lives of everyone in her family, and yet it is not her fault: she is trying to live in a world she can not live in, but everyone else in her family can. There is no answer. The film just dramatizes the situation and manages to do a pretty good job of it in a black comedic way.

n
NJW
Nov 05, 2009

Great first film by Campion. It's a bit of a tough watch but a good look at family disfunction.

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