Tells the story of a city girl who moves to a small town and becomes entangled in a love triangle between her high school teacher and a stoner classmate.
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Daydream Nation is a mess, but a gorgeous mess. Come for the flaccid teen distress, stay for the stunning imagery.
The moody Caroline Wexler moves from the big city to a small town where the kids do a lot of drugs and are inbreed losers with 6 toes. The story at times is third person, at other times Caroline narrates. She tells us of a tale of a girl in school who worked as a stripper until 2AM then showed up for school and took extra classes. The football team, she tells us, would heat up quarters and throw them at her while she walked through the halls. A "serial killer" (dubbed a serial killer after first body was found) kills the girl and they find mark of heated quarters on her legs. After her death, it appears the overly mature Caroline is the prettiest girl in school. She seduces her teacher and classmate. As time goes on we discover the teacher has the persona of a psychotic character in his book and has developed an unhealthy need to continue his relationship with his student. The movie makes clever use of juxtapositions to create humorous scenes. There are also slow scenes and slightly annoying first person narration. The soundtrack was fairly lame. The climax scene is supposed to be a culmination of the scenes building up upon each other. In an indie, it is not necessarily predictable, but it is at least metaphorically or symbolically part of the movie. This one was not. It was a complete let down and a lack of closure by the writer. Want to watch a clever indie, try "Chumscubber." The waste dump fire and serial killer were under utilized as metaphors or symbols. The very ending should of been Caroline's picture in the yearbook. F-bomb, sex, no nudity(It's Canadian).
When faced with a movie that plagiarizes so transparently from suchhigh profile and recent films of the same genre, all I can do is shrug.This film is a cut 'n paste of the biggest teen dramas from the lastten to fifteen years and seems to pride itself on that. You look at theposter and it's right there comparing itself to JUNO and DONNIE DARKO.Throw in a little THE VIRGIN SUICIDES and you've got all theingredients, the makers of this film have nothing of their own tooffer. It seems they just want to be applauded based on their taste inwho they sample.On a technical level, the film is fine. The acting is decent, it's wellshot and well scored. The plot mechanics are okay in that things areset up and developed and all resolved by the film's end. I was neverbored or angry at the film. It's just that when I can spot the originsof every plot element and stylistic device as being ripped from a smallpool of other films that are so well-known and so recent, I can't helpbut feel that I am watching a film with nothing to say and not even itsvoice in which to say it.Judged on its own, it's an okay movie. Nothing really rings true, butit also never really achieves any ambitious level of absurdity either.It feels like a cartoon trying to be deep or a thoughtful film tryingtoo hard to make itself cute and quarky. Either way, huge portions ofthe film end up feeling insincere. The film takes on some seriousissues and plot lines, but frequently backs down either throughdismissive humour or by resolving those plot lines in an overlyconvenient way.Watching it, I generally felt as indifferent to the film as the maincharacter seems to feel to the people around her who's hearts aregetting broken and who are getting killed by serial killers.
I was stoked to see Kat Dennings finally getting a lead role in a film.She's often pigeonholed into playing a rebellious daughter, a sarcasticteen, or in the case of Thor, a throwaway comic relief.Now imagine if these stereotypes all congealed, threw away the comicrelief, and ripped off the basic plot of Twilight while taking out anysupernatural elements and gave off an aroma of the most despicablepretentiousness an indie film can be accused of.You have Daydream Nation.The plot is where we get the Twilight references: big city girl movesto small town, gets involved with two men, and everything falls apart. The main fault of this plot is that like Twilight, it wants us toidentify and concern ourselves with the main female character when itis obvious that she is nothing but a manipulative, selfish,self-righteous slut who won't admit that she is the cause of everythingthat goes wrong in her life.This is the main problem. We can't connect or sympathize with the maincharacter, so why care about anything the movie has to offer?In the end, what really kills this movie is the aforementionedpretentiousness and it's inability to juggle all of the pointless plotthreads it creates. As if the love triangle wasn't enough, we have asubplot about a serial killer that really goes nowhere at all, we havea youthful romance between the younger sister of one of the charactersand some random boy whom we never learn anything about, and we have ahint at romance between two other characters that never goes anywhereafter one scene. In the end, what you're left with is an annoying, over-bloated filmthat has as much direction as as a blind man with no cane or dog.
We started watching this on Netflix streaming movies and aborted after18 minutes when the high school character began to seduce her teacherat his home. But I was curious so watched it to completion on thesecond evening. While it isn't as bad as we initially thought it wouldbe, it still isn't a very good movie, especially when you consider thequality of the actors.Kat Dennings is Caroline Wexler, high school student new in town, hermother died and she and her dad live alone. She is smarter and moreworld-wise than the other high school students and she never resists anopportunity to explain that to one of them.Josh Lucas is Barry Anderson , one of her teachers. She decides ratherquickly that she will seduce him and begin an affair with him. Eventhough she is 18 (actually in her early 20s) and he is 30-something(actually about 38 during filming) she seems to be the more adult inthe pairing.The other key character is Reece Thompson as Thurston Goldberg , a niceboy who wants to date Caroline but she seems preoccupied, but hedoesn't give up. In a good performance in a supporting role is AndieMacDowell as his mother, Enid Goldberg .We have seen Lucas in a number of different roles, including thisseasons TV series "The Firm", and his role here is a complete departurefrom anything he has done before. He handles it well, as does Dennings,but overall it is a mediocre movie at best, dealing with life angstamong teachers and teenagers. Plus a serial killer running around.
My friends and I saw this in Palm Springs Film fest. Best teen movieI've seen in a long time. Hard to describe, but not at all like aregular comedy or teen film -- more surreal and druggy, but romantictoo. Definitely best thing Kat Dennings has done (sometimes I like herand sometimes she sucks). Basically Kat's character moves to a smalltown and gets involved with her teacher and another student, but itsnot cheesy about it. Meanwhile kids keep disappearing. It had anawesome ending and was surprising. Super-stylish too with music that Iactually like. I thought it might get super-dark but it actually waspositive (not a spoiler). I know its a small movie but its hard to findinformation about it, and I've been telling friends its so good. Willit play in San Francisco?
Daydream Nation is a flawed,but entertaining well made Coming of Agefilm filled with great performances and great direction that isdramatic and sometimes darkly funny. The film is described as Junomeets Donnie Darko and while Daydream isn't as memorable as those twofilms Daydream Nation is a fine film in it's own right.Daydream Nation tells the tale of a big city teenage girl namedCaroline Wexler(Kat Dennings) who has moved with her father to a smalltown. Feeling like she can't relate to her fellow students Carolinebecomes friends and has an affair with her teacher Barry Anderson(JoshLucas). Trying to cover-up the affair,Caroline begins seeing andfalling for fellow student Thurston Goldberg(Resse Thompson)whichstarts a love triangle. While that is going on there is a serial killeraround town killing young girls and a series of events that willeffects the main characters and the small town's people.Daydream Nation is a wonderful film from beginning to end because ofthe characters and the way it depicts small town life. The characterswhether it's Caroline,Thurston,Barry or other characters are flawedhuman beings who are unsure of themselves because of behavior,tragicevents or actions,whether it's dealing with death,past events orcharacters in their present life. Like any good Coming of Age film,themovie wonderfully shows the main character growing up and dealing withlife as a teenager. Caroline is new in the small town and trying tofind herself in her new surroundings and while at times Caroline seemsso sure of herself,she is just as confused as the other characters inthe film. What I also like about the film is that Caroline isn't aone-note character with no emotion and that at times you can see thatshe has some moments and feelings of guilt and sadness over what she'sdoing in the film and you can feel her heartache and growth thatCaroline goes through in the film. You may not always like thecharacters because of the way they are and their actions but you'llrelate to most of the characters because they're flawed. The screenplayby Michael Goldbach(who also directed) is well-written giving thecharacters sharp dialog,great lines and scenes. I love how the smalltown and it's people are shown. The small town depicted in DaydreamNation is shown in a dark,surreal and at times funny way showing thetown that's surrounded with a cloud of smoke,huge trees and weatherthat makes the town look like a dream. The teenagers are so bored outof their minds the only things they do is get high,have parties andhave sex and it's told in a humorous and sometimes sad way,while littlechildren play around not to have a good time,but to past the time. Forthe teenagers and kids they're no clubs,playgrounds or even video gamesor computers it's just trees,cloud smoke and drugs. The adults in thefilm are lonely people who have no idea what their children are doingand raising theirs kids in single parent households living a depressingsmall town life and are just as lost and confused as their kids are.The film is David Lynch-lite. The only flaw with the film is thatthey're too many subplots that are interesting,but not developedenough.The cast does great jobs in their roles. I am a huge Kat Dennings fanand she does a great and excellent job as Caroline bringing the samedepth,beauty,smarts and sarcasm she brings to her other roles. I haveseen nearly all of Kat Dennings films and I will watch anything she'sin. Resse Thompson does a great job as Thurston,Caroline's other loveinterest playing a weird awkward teenager well. Josh Lucas does awonderful job as Barry Caroline's teacher and love interest. AndieMacdowell does good job as Thurston's mom Enid Goldberg. The rest ofthe cast including Rachel Blanchard(Ms. Budge),Ted Whittall(Mr.Wexler),Katie Boland(Jenny),and Landon Liboiron(Paul) also do greatjobs as well.Michael Goldbach does a fine job directing the film giving the film abeautiful,unique and surreal visual style to the film using differentcolors in the film. In final word,Daydream Nation is a flawed,but entertaining film thanksto the performances from Kat Dennings and the rest of the cast and thedirection of the film and you can watch the movie based on theperformances and direction. Recommended. 9/10.
It's hard being the new kid in school. Caroline (Dennings) and her father move from a big city to a small town and she is not happy with the move. She starts an affair with her teacher, and meets another boy her age. This is a very hard movie to review. The first half was pretty slow, the second half picked up and the last 20 min was great. I'd compare it to "Donnie Darko", but not nearly as complicated to understand. There is enough in the movie to keep you interested and watching through the slow parts, and after the ending you will be glad you did. Overall this is a good movie, but not great, definantly worth watching though. I give it a B.Would I watch again? - I don't think I would.*Also Try - Donnie Darko & Paper Man
I don't remember how i came across this movie but i think its becauseof some guy who has rated this movie in his blog. it was included insome list of his 'best movies of the year' or something. anyway i readthe synopsis which was interesting and decided to give it a try-- "BIGMISTAKE". this is the first time that i got this urge to go and write areview for a movie. yes, its that much of a waste. i had seen much muchworse movies but i never had this much hate. maybe its the dumbstoryline , maybe its the crappy dialogues, maybe its the lifelesscharacters. no way, this movie deserves above 5 or even any rating inIMDb. i don't know how to describe my emotions after seeing this movie;hate, regret, resent, stupid or nauseated. so please please avoid thismovie and spare the regrets, nausea , hate or whatever. rating 0/10
This review is from: Daydream Nation (DVD) When I fisrt watched the trailer I was definately captivated. So after I watched the movie I knew I had to have it. The dvd was in perfect condition and I was pleased that it arrived a bit early. I would reccomend this to anyone willing to see something different.
Whoa movie, you are sort of a hot mess! But I loved you for your styleand your funny dialogue and the way you made me feel dirty and innocentat the same time. The acting was mainly very strong. But Kat, youshould try to emote just a little more. However. I respect that you letyourself be such a bitch, and then opened up and made me feel for you.For awhile there you worried me, but you redeemed yourself nicely. JoshLucas, anytime, anywhere, I'm yours. Blonde hair or not. ReeceThompson, I don't know who you are, but you have promise. In fact, I'dsay you were the highlight here (not counting Josh Lucas's abs). Insummary, I'm giving this movie a solid 8/10. Next time clean up youract a little and I'll give you an A plus.
Goldbach fills the story with too many distractions, but Dennings, known for "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist," is feline and fun.
Charged with alternating currents of teen angst, sardonic wit, nervous dread and impudent sensuality, Daydream Nation suggests Juno as reimagined by David Lynch, or a funnier, sunnier Donnie Darko.
This one just happened to appear on Showtime today. I started to watchit and about 15 minutes in I said "ok I will record this and watch itlater." I kept watching and at about 30 minutes in I was stillwatching. I kept watching more and more of it and saying I would watchit later. Pretty soon the whole 1 and 3/4 hours went by and I foundmyself unable to tear myself away. It was impossible to stop. I washypnotized.I usually don't find much to like about movies these days. They areviolent, loud, juvenile, predictable and boring. Finally one that hasreal characters, in real situations, with real thoughts and feelings.The characters are mature and well drawn with depth and the kind ofcomplexity that says volumes about the observational skills of thewriter. It was sensitively directed and acted. And you know what thebest thing about it was? At any moment in the film I had no idea whereit was going. I have seen thousands of films and I can spot a clichÃ© amile away. This one was like no other film I have ever seen. Totallyunpredictable.Do whatever you have to do to see it. Treat yourself to somethingdifferent then you can go back to films with drugs, car crashes, guns,and urban horror stories. Just give yourself one chance to see a reallywell crafted and mature work of art.
There are times when you can lose yourself in its shabby surrealism. But there are so many movies that are like Daydream Nation, there's little it can do to surprise you with its dramatic impact.
This review is from: Daydream Nation (DVD) Kat Dennings is one of the best actresses working right now. Her comedic timing is genius! And when she's being serious and dramatic, she does it so good that you feel like you are right there in her head feeling those emotions too. She's great in 2 Broke Girls as well. If you liked her in movies such as House Bunny, Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist, 40 Year Old Virgin, or Charlie Bartlett... GET THIS!
I went ahead and checked this one, as I liked quite a bit Kat Denningsin "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" and I decided since then thatI'd check the next movie with her that comes under my eyes.She has a sort of "not-trying-to-be-cute or bad either" attitude thatof hooked me and suites her very well. That being said, I think it'sbecause of her that the film somehow worked for me; she seems to be agood actress with a lot of potential and she managed to keep all ofthis together and carry her leading role with ease and grace.There are some other characters in the movie which have goodperformances too, and there are some little beautiful moments in there,but for me it was Kat that held all of this in one piece.However, after seeing this, thinking back at it I realized that if itwas somebody else who played her role, this would probably have beeneasily forgettable, for me.So, there you go, I'm biased. As somebody else was saying, there arequite a bit of scenes or events in the movie which seem a littlesuperfluous or pointless, at least in the sense that they don't leadanywhere further and thus become weird mere "decorations".All in all it was nice to see Kat carry out a more complex role withthe same ease and style she displayed in the "teen" posture she had inthe other movie.I'm not sure how much this review will help anyone decide whether tosee it or not; I guess you'll just have to make up your own mind aboutthis one. ;)
Yes, it's about young people~ but young enough that i'm curious aboutwhat's changed and what's stayed the same in this late, Mood-Sweptgeneration; what they think about; how they feel about the worldthey're inheriting. This story is told from the eyes of anOut-of-place, Precocious high school co-ed who moves from the City toHicktown, USA, "where there's more incest than in an Atom Egoyanmovie". She's a Serious type; In her Cultural Moment, Motherless, Noone to Love, who is questioning her values, the meaning of Life andDeath, society, and the social Games We Play. Here, she plays mostlywith drug seeking, disillusioned teenagers. She engages in apromiscuous affair with Josh Lucas' character, her teacher, come hometo roost and zap some reality into the quotidian travails ofDisaffected Youth.There's a story arc regarding a Serial Murder Mystery.Whilst at first we are guided on an almost nostalgic, plot less,soporific remembrance of feeling alone in a group of people, the alltoo real consequences of some bad choices made by good people whips thedÃ©nouement into a Frenzied affair.A reviewer compared the Voice to a 'Juno- by David Lynch'...or aShinier Donnie Darko.Indie, Natch.Plus Ã§a change, plus c'est la mÃªme chose...A refreshingly Un-Obnoxious soundtrack, with a nice Cover of CSN&Y's'expecting to fly'.
Another film in which on-screen teens, especially the nubile femme fatale at the center, are but vessels to showcase the screenwriter's irony-drenched, self-satisfied intellect.
In a small town where teachers sit in front of apathetic kids in theclassroom and teenagers have nothing better to do than find householditems that might get them high, "Daydream Nation" sneaks in and takeseverything by storm. Caroline (Kat Dennings) is new in town and it'snot that she loves to cause strife or turmoil, but she's smarter thanher fellow classmates and she's looking to define herself just as anysmart, lonely teenager would do. This is the year that everythinghappens.With an industrial fire burning, a serial killer on the loose, andCaroline falling in love with her teacher Mr. A (Josh Lucas), the filmsets up such a dark, mysterious, chilling atmosphere that you'll bedrawn towards this town and these characters and then want to find asafe place to watch from.Some of these characters will break your heart from the very beginning,Thurston (Reece Thompson) is the quintessential awkward teenager, aloneand confused and might be falling in love, and his best friend is gone.His single mother (Andie MacDowell) is in constant fear of keeping herkids safe. The other characters should be able to handle themselvesjust fine. These are the best written characters I have ever seen in ahigh school film (and yes, I have seen "Election").Mr. A is looking for motivation, Thurston is looking for love, andCaroline is just looking for something. This film takes those simplelongings and puts them into something that looks and feels like athriller. Originality is not to be feared. It should not be weird oroff-putting; it should be celebrated. "Daydream Nation" is anedge-of-your-seat coming-of-age drama. These teenagers, plus a teacheror two, are just looking for love, acceptance, understanding and apurpose.For the first time in a long time, I had no idea where a film wastaking me. I had no idea what they were trying to tell me, and I had noidea what genre it was supposed to be. But the unrelenting atmosphere,the incredibly well written characters, and the smart dialogue make"Daydream Nation" something you'll want to experience. Another reviewercompared this to "Juno", I was thinking of comparing this to"Heathers", but these filmmakers have their fingers on the pulse ofsomething entirely different. They might play with your heart strings,and your blood pressure, but by the end you will be put back together.Follow my blog Napierslogs' Movie Expositions athttp://napierslogs.blogspot.com