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Paper Covers Rock

3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Newcomer Jeannine Kaspar delivers a stunning performance as Sam, a troubled single mother who risks losing custody of her young daughter following a failed suicide attempt. Over the next few shaky weeks, Sam is released from the hospital into the care of her overbearing older sister, finds a job, makes tentative steps towards a new romance and tries to reconnect with her child. But lives and depression sometimes have a way of making their own rules. Can a woman lost somewhere between hope and despair find the strength to put all her pieces back together? Sayra Player co-stars in this powerful independent drama from writer/producer/director Joe Maggio (VIRGIL BLISS, MILK AND HONEY) that critics and audiences nationwide praise for its honest portrait of one woman s emotional instability and survival.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeannine Kaspar, Savra Player
  • Directors: Joe Maggio
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036U0B14
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,155 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

"Paper Covers Rock," is an independent movie written and directed by Joe Maggio is about Sam played by Jeannine Kaspar who is a troubled mother struggling to put her life back together and get custody of her daughter after a suicide attempt. It was made in 2008 but is just now being released on DVD on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

Sam's six-year-old daughter walks in on her after attempting to asphyxiate herself. After a stay in a psychiatric hospital, she moves in with her loving, neat-freak, older sister, Ed played by Sayra Player. Kaspar fantastically captures the symptoms of depression and isolation as she struggles in her recovery but has difficulty reconnecting, even with the people she loves the most like her sister and daughter. She keeps seeing a therapist played by Clint Jordan and develops an interest in rebuilding a bicycle. When a literal game of Rock-Paper-Scissors broke out to determine the price of a bike wheel, it definitely brought a smile to my face along with Sam's. Kaspar dwells on being as minimal as possible in her performance and it pays off when she finds events that do get her incredibly emotional and vocal making them stand out all the more.

Sayra Player's portrayal of Ed is worth noting due to her earnest goodwill toward her sister, her attention to the tiniest differences in emotion, and topping it all off with possessiveness of her space and a serious perfectionist streak. Sam is not allowed in Ed's room but Ed might pop into Sam's to check on her collection of saran-wrap and play watchdog.
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I’m a big fan of Joe Maggio films. For me, Clint Jordan is the Maria McKee of the film world, someone who has jaw dropping talent that goes unnoticed by “rule-makers”. Rare is a film that has such an impact where it can be framed in absolute terms and with a relative topology. So I approach this review from both trains of thought.

The Absolute

Once again, Joe Maggio touches upon subjects that de-mythifies what seems to be cliché topics. Whether it is Virgil Bliss or this film, right away you know you are going on a field exercise in human dynamics that are found on the outer edge of the “first world”. It is very uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable in the sense of what a viewer digests watching “Gummo” or “Happiness”, but the discomfort which results from a certain functionality in human despair that is unexpected to the novice observer. It may be not how you or I function, but somehow, they subsist and survive. Life goes on. The acting is superb! Anyone who has gone through this with a love one know the delivery is spot-on!

There is a passive tension between Sam and Ed. Sam is trying to reconstruct a life that wasn’t there, while at the same time, fighting not to be categorized by the people in her support network. In Sam’s case, silence is so much louder than words that it tends to amplify the moments her emotions do pour out. The scene when she finally catches up to her daughter is the epitome of this.

Sam’s sister Ed, is complex in routine. A first time or unconcern viewer may prematurely dismiss Ed’s actions as a derivative of co-dependency. I believe Sam’s actions are 100% sincere. What Ed is trying to provide Sam is structure. Why? Because structure has worked well for Ed and she has the capacity and means to do so.
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By Tony Sac on November 19, 2013
This film follows Sam, a woman/mother trying to rebuild her life, after a suicide attempt. Jeannine Kaspar's performance as Sam is intense and worthy of any and every award. I look forward to discovering writer, director, producer Joe Maggio's other work. This film is real, intimate, uncomfortable and hypnotic.
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Paper Covers Rock
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