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Daydream Nation

3.9 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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(May 17, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Seventeen-year-old Caroline Wexler (KAT DENNINGS) is facing a teenager's nightmare: her widowed father has moved them from the city to a tiny, nowhere town. When Caroline realizes she has nothing in common with the permanently stoned kids that populate her new school, she pursues the one person she connects with -- her handsome young teacher, Mr. Anderson (JOSH LUCAS). A bizarre love triangle ensues between Caroline, Mr. Anderson, and a stoner classmate (REECE THOMPSON). A mash up of genres and tones, Daydream Nation is a coming of age story for the 21st century.

Amazon.com

Daydream Nation is an independent, quirky, vaguely creepy film that will keep the viewer guessing. Writer-director Michael Goldbach has created unexpected layers to the story of a big-city girl who moves to a small town and stirs up trouble because she's bored--and is then caught in the awful consequences. The cast is terrific, including Kat Dennings as Caroline, the high schooler so bored she begins an affair with her teacher (Mr. A, played by Josh Lucas, also terrific). Meanwhile Reece Thompson, as fellow teen Thurston, creates the final piece of the love triangle that spells trouble with a capital T. Andie MacDowell plays Thurston's mom, and is a standout; her performance is reminiscent of Cloris Leachman's in The Last Picture Show. Daydream Nation is offbeat in the manner of Juno, Donnie Darko, or Jim Jarmusch's or David Lynch's weirdest work. "For a while there, it seemed liked craziness was in the air," Caroline narrates in a voice-over. "And we were all just… breathing it in." If some of the plot twists aren't completely believable, the performances and the assured direction still make Daydream Nation a very watchable, engaging experience--a creative antidote to formulaic films and one that lovers of independent film will enjoy. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kat Dennings, Reece Thompson, Josh Lucas, Andie Macdowell
  • Directors: Michael Goldbach
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2011
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004OUZLGK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,495 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Daydream Nation" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I thought this film was well done! I can see why it's compared to Juno and Donnie Darko but it is definitely unique all on its own. I saw it this morning and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Reece Thompson, Kat Dennings, and Josh Lucas were all great! It's a shame it's not very popular. Then again, I'm a big fan of independent films with unique story lines as opposed to feature films that seem so repetitive.

By the way, the soundtrack is AMAZING! Cannot wait to buy it!
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Format: DVD
This indy film takes a look at a small town, its inhabitants and how they/we float through life not facing the reality of things.

Here's the scoop. Caroline (Kat Dennings) is from the big city. She's bright, savvy and is having a difficult time adjusting to this town where an industrial fire raging just off its borders, the kids imbibe copious amounts of alcohol and there is a serial killer on the loose. So what does she do? She puts the moves on her English teacher and dates a nice, local schoolmate to cover her tracks. Said teacher dates the school's female Phys Ed teacher to cover his. Things don't go very well.

This has a lot of cool things happening. Lights, sparklers and fireworks are nearly ubiquitous. They appear, in one form or another, in many scenes. Then there's the ominous plume of smoke, off in the distance, issuing from the burning factory. It lends a sense of dread to the proceedings. I also like how certain scenes are repeated using different characters. I thought it was a nice touch. How about the characters. Thurston (Reece Thompson) is a good hearted, smart enough guy who gets too high too often. He likes Caroline. She IS witty and her sharp tongue might be the slap he needs to wake him up from the mind-numbing existence of small time life. How about Barry Anderson (Josh Lucas) the English teacher. What a knucklehead. He has to know, in the back of his mind, that sleeping with a student can only end badly. Then to think she's the love of his life?! Grow up!

Like all good indy flicks this is all writing and acting. The cast is more than decent and it's peppered with some really nifty tunes as well. It's directed and shot professionally. I didn't see the bones showing. So, if you're prone toward this sort of thing this is a good outing.
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Format: DVD
This was a dreamy little movie that I'd heard was becoming a cult classic. And since I love those kinds of movies I had to check it out. I would start by emphasizing that it is not a normal teen film in any way and if you're looking for a chick flick you're going to be disappointed. But for me this movie came out of nowhere -- well, Canada, I guess -- and shocked me by dealing with feelings and emotions through very surreal and sometimes brilliant film-making. The plot is messy, very messy, but that feels like part of the point: things are left dangling, weird events keep piling up, and all the while the movie is kept alive by superb acting by Kat Dennings and the wickedly clever double-edged dialogue. In some ways the story-telling is more like a book than a movie. I read one review that compared it to a Murakami novel and I thought that was a pretty apt comparison. Not for everyone, but definitely for me.
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Format: DVD
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 marks of heated quarters on her legs.The waste dump fire and serial killer were under utilized as metaphors/symbols.

After her death, it appears the overly mature Caroline is the prettiest girl in school. She seduces her teacher and a classmate. As time goes on we discover the teacher has the persona of a psychotic character portrayed from his own novel and has developed an unhealthy need to continue his relationship with Caroline.

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."
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By Sadie on September 9, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I actually very much enjoyed the movie. It wasn't quirky just to be quirky, and I greatly appreciate that. It wasn't pseudo-profound and it was actually pretty deep. I really liked watching as the characters grew. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who likes Charlie Bartlett or Juno. It's biting yet touching at the same time.
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Format: DVD
Daydream Nation is a fairly interesting film with only a few questionable moments. It's about Kat Dennings playing the character of a mature, witty, slightly sarcastic and introverted high school student who happens to find herself rocking the cradle with her teacher after several flirtatious suggestions as well as having more of a forced and unwelcomed relationship with a student by the name of Thurston. Nevermind the awkwardness that a teacher is having sex with a student who may or may not be over 18. I don't think that point was ever addressed- it was just assumed Kat's character was old enough. Also the way Kat and her teacher finally hit it off felt strange since the build up before it occurred was about as unnatural as you can possibly imagine. Kat was WAY too confident and comfortable around her teacher and I never understood why. Unless she was so desperate for attention in a small town and had nothing better to do.

The problem with Thurston is that despite his best efforts to win over the love of his life, there's always a series of struggles that prevent the relationship from properly and completely getting off the ground (such as a couple awkward situations where Thurston approaches Kat's father at the front door and doesn't know how to introduce himself without stuttering and getting confused). This scene is hilarious for the way he tries to strike up a conversation by way of handing the father some cupcakes and yet the father *still* wants nothing to do with him, and surely doesn't want his daughter dating such a gibberish spounting weirdo, lol.

We eventually realize that the teacher has issues of his own.
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