The View From Tall | Chicago Reader

The View From Tall

Coming-of-age movies, with their tropes of alienation, rebellion, and burgeoning sexuality, are reliable (if often disposable) fare for the teen market, but this Chicago-set love story breaks new ground with the protagonist's self-knowledge and directness. A gangly brainiac at a suburban high school (Amanda Drinkall) is devastated by the exposure of her affair with a teacher. Her selfish parents, unable to deal with the situation, consign her to a psychotherapist, and her younger, dimmer sibling (Carolyn Braver), already an alcoholic, is torn between supporting her and slut-shaming her. As capable as these actresses are, the film belongs to Michael Patrick Thornton as the resentful heroine's wheelchair-bound shrink. Caitlin Parrish's disarming script is based on her own play, which was first staged when she was 19 and whose dialogue radiates hope and defiance. Parrish and Erica Weiss codirected.

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