What Alice Found
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Top Customer Reviews
The entire cast of the picture could, and does, fit into an RV - it's a three-person ensemble piece. Digital photography gives What Alice Found a scruffy, high school project feeling that is perfectly in step with the protagonist's innocence and the cheesy ambience of truck stop hooking. In short, writer/director Dean Bell has turned drawbacks into allies.
The simple plot supports a complex character study. Alice, played admirably by newcomer Emily Grace, is running away from home to visit a friend in Florida. Brief flashbacks are used effectively to inform this decision, and help us understand her background. On the road she is befriended, unless "Shanghaied" is a better word, by a couple that roams truck stops in their mobile brothel RV. Part pimps and part surrogate parents, they quickly fold Alice into their world. Though she stays naive, we track her downward spiral by the way she looks.
The showcase performance here is by Judith Ivey, her Sandra manages to convey a broad range of emotions, and motives, without ever once seeming forced. She knows a lot, and she's quick to instruct Alice in the ways of the world, all she's discovered since she escaped Paducah, Kentucky. Through the course of the film we come to understand that neither Alice nor Sandra are completely innocent or guilty, and despite the unkind conditions, an important bond of understanding has been formed.Read more ›
I saw this film last night on the channel 7 late night Saturday film broadcast. The prostitution aspect got my attention, the beautiful woman playing the prostitute worked on me too. Thinking I'd click it off at some point, it ended up maintaining my interest. The older woman is an exceptional actress, sort of like the younger version of the old, wacky neighbor (Ruth Morton) in Rosemary's Baby . The sex scenes were alluring and emotional. Her drive to find something more and move out of a small town is not a phenomenal story goal, but real enough to empathize with this character. Wanting more, yeah, I can relate to that.
The film shamelessly overuses flashbacks and extreme close ups, film devices that are often cited as "what not to do" in every film production and screenplay writing book I've ever read. It also settles on bad acting and choppy editing in some circumstances. It doesn't have the greatest production quality either, looking rather cheap, possibly shot on a mid-priced mini-dv recorder. Doesn't matter either, it's actually a refreshing departure from the usual visual gloss of high-priced films. This film just plods along to complete its tale no matter what, and it ignores all of these faults and succeeds. I'm pleased to see the director not heed to these constraints because the story is delivered movingly regardless. It teaches a good lesson in just telling your story no matter what criticism may try to mar it.Read more ›
be a home video camera, film-maker Bell manages to make these
limitations work for him, giving this disturbing, ambiguous story a
sense of odd reality. His actors are so good, (especially the great NY
theater actress Judith Ivey) that rather than feeling amateurish, the
style makes the film feel uncomfortably voyeuristic and appropriate.
Alice is running away from an awful home life when she meets a
well-meaning couple on the road who help her out, and take her on with
them. Then they turn out to be less altruistic and somewhat creepier
than they appear.
While this might sound like a recipe for a low budget horror film, Bell
keeps the film and the characters in shades of tense but low key grey.
Everyone, even our heroine, has their secrets, and true motives are
always a question mark. No heroes, no villains just people surviving
and using each other in the process.
If this is a 'thriller' at all, it's a thriller of behavior, not action
and violence, ala more recent films like 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'
and 'Shame'. It's really more a dark coming-of-age film.
Not all the acting is up to Ivey's level, and some of the flashbacks
are a bit on-the-nose, but overall I found the film far more quietly
haunting and thought provoking than the vast majority of what I see.
One frustration on the DVD front. The newer Wellspring is in 1:66,
the older Fox Lorber is listed as 1:85 (although I haven;t seen it).
While imdb lists 1:85 as correct, it's hard to imagine a generally
film friendly company like Wellspring changing to a wrong aspect
ratio for no reason.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got this movie because of Judith Ivey - was a bit shocked, but message is to be thankful for what you have. Read morePublished 3 months ago by YellowBird
One of the best movies I've watched! This is diffently an underrated movie. Watch this movie you won't regret it.Published 12 months ago by Jennifer Bosarge-Larkin
A terrible movie, makes no sense, not worth the price, all reviews that I read have been low rated, I got it because it was cheap. Cheap does not always mean good.Published 22 months ago by Jerry T. Blythe
My wife really likes this film. It not what you intend to do but when conditions change
and your left holding the bag, you do things that you normaly wouldn't have done. Read more
I got this movie because Amazon recommended it based on some other movie that I watched. I am not sure what movie that was or how it tied to this one, but I guess that is besides... Read morePublished on March 4, 2006 by U2girl
"What Alice Found" is one of those flicks that just grabs at you when you're skimming channels for a movie to watch. Read morePublished on February 22, 2006 by Ken Fontenot