When volatile artist Ingrid Magnussen (Michelle Pfeiffer) poisons her boyfriend in a fit of jealousy and is sentenced to life in prison, her daughter, Astrid (Alison Lohman), is sent to live in a series of foster homes with three very different women. As Astrid moves from one dysfunctional arrangement to the next, her mother’s manipulations are never far behind. Robin Wright Penn, Renée Zellweger and Patrick Fugit co-star. (Netflix)
I loved this movie. So depressing, yet uplifting at the same time. Lohman does a fantastic job of showing the struggle Astrid has of growing up while being pulled in so many different directions. Also, a nice contrast is made with Ingrid, who spends the majority of the movie in prison, who looks like she hasn’t aged a day by the end. Astrid, however changes her look with every place she goes to, as she molds to the environment she finds herself in. Pfeiffer, in one of her best roles, does a fantastic job of portraying this unstable, manipulative, loving, artistic, genius. Also, I geeked a little when I saw Melissa McCarthy (Sookie from Gilmore Girls, one of my favorite TV shows) playing an EMT in one scene. But I digress. After watching, I was really surprised that it received a PG-13 rating when it came out. Astrid goes through some serious shit that twelve year olds (because let’s face who saw their first PG-13 movie when they were actually 13?) really don’t need to see. Sex, violence, suicide, etc. My rule of thumb, if I wouldn’t want my 12 year old sister to see it, then it should’ve had an R rating. But honestly, that doesn’t take away from how great this movie is.