With a horrible scorecard in an online game called Rotten Tomatoes and $140,000 revenue from production cost of $4M the 2011 film Dirty Girl statistically has no place in my radar (it’ll just end up for eternal damnation anyway). But then came The Dark Knight Rises featuring ‘the’ Anne Hathaway playing a character named Selina Kyle who lives with a nobody girl portrayed by a nobody actress named Juno Temple. After a few random browsing for movies in my to-watch-list led me to the IMDB profile of Dirty Girl starring Miss Temple. And the common (mortal )men’s reaction to the movie somehow convinced me to watch it though I wasn’t really expecting anything great.
I just want to see how Juno Temple landed that role in Christopher Nolan’s immortal ensemble.
The story is set in 1987 about a liberated high school girl named Danielle (Juno Temple) who teams up with Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), a fat outcast, into a road trip to find her biological father in LA. The title doesn’t really do justice to the story, since Danielle was only a complete bitch in like the first 20 minutes of the film. By the time they set out on the road the two leads started to came out of their shells. Danielle is just a lonely girl craving for a father’s affection and Clarke is a gay craving for his family’s acceptance. Dirty Girl is a beautiful example of a road film genre whose characters go into a road trip to get a destination, only to realize that the destination isn’t as exciting as the journey itself where these characters venture out of their comfort zones, meet people and experience some crazy experience along the way.
There’s a lot of great point to watch out for in the movie. I love the lavish costume designs, especially the hairstyle, that easily captures that ‘Dark Age of Fashion’ label we modern young people react to that era, i.e. “I’m never wearing this and that”, “Thanks God I was only born on that era”. The cinematography is also good giving us a sephia-like picture of the story that’s already stylish and watch out for that unforgettable ‘stripping in the middle of nowhere’ scene. And I can’t help but marvel the film’s gritty tone despite having a teen-comedy premise, it’s surprisingly serious but still funny without trying to be funny.
I don’t what those pompous critics found so bad about this film, but for me it’s a great small film with a big heart, something that is human and thoughtful. Juno Temple completely own this film. It’s a remarkable performance being able to portray a complete bitch to a wild but lonely teenager trying to find ‘someone who doesn’t want to be found’. The message of the story isn’t just about teenage angst and growing but also gives a reflective take on every parent’s decisions and the consequences it creates to their children. But ultimately it’s a film about acceptance to whatever craps life throws at you. And I have to agree with Danielle ‘It’s the fight that makes the acceptance bearable’.
This film just showed me how ratings and Rotten Tomatoes can be so deceiving. I found out most of the critic’s rants is on the films techicalities… you know the direction, storytelling and cohesiveness stuffs. Critics practically failed to see the beauty of the story because of how it was presented, it’s like ripping a Staedler pencil just because it wasn’t sharpened. Those critics,
those bloody fools armed with with their self proclaimed expertise in film making/story telling somehow gave them an awful elitist Nazi-confidence, and they can’t even make a movie of their own. Sure internet is as as free as the Republic of the Philippines, everyone have their right to say what they wanna say. But to misled people from seeing and enjoying good movies, I think that ain’t fair to the audience and the filmmakers. Dirty business, but let them talk. But for it’s less Rotten Tomatoes, and a thousand points for IMDB.com.