6.7/10
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Palindromes (2004)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 21 January 2005 (Sweden)
Trailer
1:46 | Trailer
Aviva is thirteen, awkward and sensitive. Her mother Joyce is warm and loving, as is her father, Steve, a regular guy who does have a fierce temper from time to time. The film revolves around her family, friends and neighbors.

Director:

Todd Solondz

Writer:

Todd Solondz
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Faber ... Mark Wiener
Angela Pietropinto ... Mrs. Wiener
Bill Buell ... Mr. Wiener
Emani Sledge Emani Sledge ... 'Dawn' Aviva
Ellen Barkin ... Joyce Victor
Valerie Shusterov Valerie Shusterov ... 'Judah' Aviva
Richard Masur ... Steve Victor
Hillary B. Smith ... Robin Wallace
Danton Stone ... Bruce Wallace
Robert Agri ... First Judah
Hannah Freiman Hannah Freiman ... 'Henry' Aviva
Stephen Singer ... Dr. Fleischer
Rachel Corr ... 'Henrietta' Aviva
Stephen Adly Guirgis ... Joe / Earl / Bob
Will Denton ... 'Huckleberry' Aviva
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Storyline

A fable of innocence: thirteen-year-old Aviva Victor wants to be a 'mom'. She does all she can to make this happen, and comes very close to succeeding, but in the end her plan is thwarted by her sensible parents. So she runs away, still determined to get pregnant one way or another, but instead finds herself lost in another world, a less sensible one, perhaps, but one pregnant itself with all sorts of strange possibility. She takes a road trip from the suburbs of New Jersey, through Ohio to the plains of Kansas and back. Like so many trips, this one is round-trip, and it's hard to say in the end if she can ever be quite the same again, or if she can ever be anything but the same again. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

21 January 2005 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Palindromes - nyrjähtänyt rakkaustarina See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$57,251, 17 April 2005

Gross USA:

$553,368

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$809,686
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Extra Large Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Todd Solondz spent his entire life's saving on making the movie because no studios would back it. See more »

Goofs

The film takes place in New Jersey, yet in one of the hitch-hiking scenes we see a road sign for US Route 3, which in reality is located in New Hampshire. To make matters worse, in the background of the same scenes we see directional signs for "Ellenville" and "Route 199", which reveals the actual filming location of Kingston, NY. See more »

Quotes

'Dawn' Aviva Victor: I want to have lots and lots of babies so that way I will always have someone to love.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In loving memory of Dawn Wiener. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Life During Wartime (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Nobody Jesus But You
Written by Eytan Mirsky, Curtis Moore and Matthew Brookshire
Performed by Ricky Ashley, Curtis Moore, Karen Rodriguez and The Sunshine Singers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solondz Has Certainly Not Taken the Easy Option
28 October 2004 | by KrustallosSee all my reviews

Seen at the London Film Festival, 27/10/04.

I've seen a lot of strange films in my life, but this has to be right up there. Compared to this, "Happiness" was a crowd-pleasing knockabout comedy. I have to say that I found "Palindromes" hard going, even boring at times, although there was definitely a slow burn quality and by the end I was pretty much drawn in.

The film plays rather like a cross between Luis Bunuel and a live action "South Park". The multiple-actress technique pioneered in "That Obscure Object of Desire", deadpan style and flat picture quality on the one hand, taboo-breaking humour, song 'n' dance and perverse exploration of moral issues on the other.

I wonder what a conservative audience would make of this film. My guess is that it's aimed squarely at a liberal audience, but it absolutely refuses to pander to liberal prejudice, instead laying into the "pro-choice" position in a manner which can only be described as destruction testing. I get the feeling that Solondz is challenging his own opinions on the issue, as much as ours. Pro-lifers might see the storyline as vindicating their beliefs, but I dare say would be so horrified by other aspects of the film that they wouldn't make it to the end.

This is probably Solondz' bleakest movie to date, despite moments of (very dark) humour. Scientific rationalism is weighed against religious fundamentalism and both are found utterly wanting.

Incidentally there is no rape in this film, despite comments elsewhere, although there are certainly very disturbing scenes.

A brave movie, overall. I'm sure Solondz could take the David Lynch/John Waters route towards the (relative) mainstream with considerable success, but "Palindromes" sees him driving determinedly in the opposite direction, in every respect.


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