A drama that tells the story of a troubled 18-year-old girl, who--abandoned by her father and neglected by her overworked mother--turns to her English teacher for solace and inspiration. What starts out as a mentoring relationship becomes increasingly complex and ambiguous, as the tension in her family escalates.
David Strathairn delivers one of the most exquisitely nuanced performances of his career as Mr. Auster, a high-school English teacher tempted to seduce his star pupil, Meg (Agnes Bruckner), a beautiful and talented aspiring poet. The characters are carefully rendered in shades of gray. The teacher is a sensitive aesthete and a caring friend but also a lecher and a literary impostor. Meg, who grew up with her mother and her emotionally troubled younger sister in a home scarred by divorce, is part angel, part surly teenage rebel. The movie is an impressive debut for the director Karen Moncrieff, whose wised-up psychological radar takes in both sides of every situation. — Stephen Holden
2003-05-02 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Blue Car