Posts Tagged ‘“American Woman”’

Sienna Miller

“AMERICAN WOMAN” My rating: B+ 

111 minutes | MPAA rating: R

People can change.

That’s the hopeful message at the core of the often brutally grim “American Woman,” a film that casts American-born, Brit-reared beauty Sienna Miller as a working-class American floozie transformed by tragedy.

Written by Brad Ingelsby and directed by Jake Scott (son of director Ridley Scott), “American Woman” (a terribly meaningless title, BTW) offers an unconventional narrative covering 16 years in one woman’s life, leaping months or even years between scenes and often eschewing big dramatic moments for tiny glimpses of  everyday existence.

If you’re looking to compare it to another movie, Bruce Beresford’s “Tender Mercies” comes to mind. As antecedents go, that’s a pretty great one.

At the movie’s outset we meet Debra (Miller), a thirtysomething grocery store clerk living in small-town Pennsylvania with her  daughter Bridget (Sky Ferreira) and Bridget’s baby boy, Jesse.  Teen pregnancy seems to run in the family.

Debra, it quickly becomes apparent, is a good-time girl who in short skirt and go-go boots is a regular at the local honkytonk.  She is having a shameless affair with a married man, and though she seems a smart-mouthed tough cookie, she’s soft enough to entertain the notion that someday he’ll leave his wife.

This sort of behavior doesn’t sit well with her sister Katherine (Christina Hendricks), who lives across the street with her burly, decent-as-the-day-is-long husband Terry (Will Sasso). Nor does Debra’s mother Peggy (Amy Madigan) much approve of her daughter’s lifestyle. The two are always at each other’s throats.


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