All the Real Girls (USA; 108min.)

directed by: David Gordon Green
starring: Paul Schneiderl; Zooey Deschanel; Patricia Clarkson
Esme says: "Okay, I am beginning to really love this David Gordon Green fellow. He directed ALL THE REAL GIRLS and my other favorite movie, GEORGE WASHINGTON (2000). ALL THE REAL GIRLS is so visceral and from the heart, I could only compare watching it to reading Judy Blume's Forever as an addled pubescent. It's so raw and full of that small town summer first-love drama, but it isn't ever cheesy and it certainly isn't what we call a 'teen movie.' How many cats am I allowed to give? I'll give it one less than the most, because I just saw Pedro Almodovar's TALK TO HER, and that movie is clearly the work of a master." 4 cats
Hilary says: "I agree that the leads were great. I wasn't familar with Paul Schneider having missed GEORGE WASHINGTON, which I would like to see now. I have enjoyed Zooey Deschanel in everything I've seen her in so far. I felt she captured the awkward vulnerability of her character perfectly.

"The dialogue felt very natural and I enjoyed the fact that the film was essentially character-driven vignettes rather than following a formulaic love story script that we've all seen a thousand times before. In fact, some scenes were so realistic that it was almost uncomfortable to watch them. My heart was breaking for them as their emotions were laid bare and their connection broke down.

"The cinematography was top notch, the use of light was lovely. Parts were strangely evocative of BOYS DON'T CRY -- though a VERY different story, the desolation life in a small town with industry at the center felt familiar. The shot of the mills at night was especially visually reminiscent. "
Ivy says: "ALL THE REAL GIRLS is the new film by David Gordon Green. He co-wrote the film with Paul Schneider, who also is the male star of the film. This is a wonderful, sweet, real, emotionally intense film. Not a film to bring someone on a first date, ALL THE REAL GIRLS follows the birth and roadbumps of the relationship between Paul and Noel. Noel has just graduated from high school (a girlís boarding school) and has come home to decide what she wants to do next. Paul is her brother Tipís best friend and the townís resident heartbreaker.

"Chlotrudis favorite Patricia Clarkson appears again, this time as Paulís mother. Sheís a single mom who fixes pianos and works (or volunteers) at the local hospital as a clown for the sick kids. The relationship between Clarkson and Schneider is so warm and open, maybe not the relationship that most people have with their parents, or anyone for that matter, but it is a relationship that I wish people had with eachother. In fact the entire film is that way. These characters talk to eachother in a way that I wish people communicated. Not that they are eloquent or in any way well spoken, but they are so gorgeously honest and true to themselves.

"Paul and Zooey are amazing as the central character. The awkward and uncomfortable intensity of a new relationship is palpable. I canít believe that I have seen two good films in such a short period of time, but this is another one to catch ASAP. I know that it didnít do very well in Boston its opening weekend, although they havenít announced that it will be dropped next week but it might go to half a screen. Sadly, straight-ahead, tight indie dramas tend to have a short shelflife in movie theaters." 4 cats
Michael says: "David Gordon Green is definitely a filmmaker to watch. The lush visuals and innovative storytelling style of his debut film GEORGE WASHINGTON caught the eye of many a Chlotrudis member, earning him nominations in the Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Cast categories two years ago.

"With ALL THE REAL GIRLS, Green focuses on a blossoming romantic relationship between a womanizing lothario and an inexperienced young woman during a North Carolina winter. Once again, cinematographer Tim Orr draws beauty and dramatic storytelling through the use of visuals. Green's screenplay and direction eschew linking scenes and establishing shots to tell a story that is so well-known in an original and intriguing way. The acting is great all around, particularly the leadsZooey Deschanel (THE GOOD GIRL) and Paul Schneider (GEORGE WASHINGTON). Patricia Clarkson puts in a strong supporting performance as well. He draws a picture of regular lives so vividly and without melodrama that I can see why some would find it boring, but I found it anything but. I particularly loved the way the language of the two leads was so romanticized and lush during their courtship, and so awkward and difficult as their relationship broke down.

"There have been many comparisons to 2002's TULLY, which I understand, but I feel that, while I loved TULLY, ALL THE REAL GIRLS is the superior film. Green pares things down to the essential relationship and focuses on it with creativity and honesty." 4 1/2 cats.