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What Alice Found

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A small town girl meets up with a middle-aged retired couple on the road and soon gets caught up in a world she never imagined.


Special Features

  • Trailer
  • Filmographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Emily Grace, Judith Ivey, Bill Raymond, Jane Lincoln Taylor, Justin Parkinson
  • Directors: A. Dean Bell
  • Writers: A. Dean Bell
  • Producers: A. Dean Bell, A.P. Feuerman, Don Wells, J.C. Chmiel, Matthew Vose Campbell
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2004
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002KQNQ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,546 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "What Alice Found" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alistair McHarg on October 8, 2006
Format: DVD
What Alice Found is Spartan, it breaks the craft of filmmaking down into its most basic elements and executes well on every one. There are no flaming helicopters to be found here, or big name stars, nowhere to hide. Instead of distractions you find a well-conceived script, excellent acting, and subtle moral choices that never invite cheap, easy answers.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Falicki on April 20, 2006
Format: DVD
A beautiful, poignant movie that surprised me. Small, yes, but strangely moving and satisfying after starting out slow. Surprisingly good performances all around from people who don't look like they're professional actors, most of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tccampa on September 21, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you like movies with troubled women, you'll love this one. Anyone who has spent time on the road will appreciate the darkness lurking around truck stops and the variety of people one sees while traveling the American highways. Judith Ivey's performance is excellent; her character is beautiful, tragic, optimistic, tough, and real. I love the music in this film as well--the musical score is haunting and perfect in every scene. Overall a great film!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 4, 2010
Format: DVD
Very mundane film style. Following a real story with real characters, that, of course, have their quirks-- or else the film wouldn't be worth viewing. And in the same vein, the story deals with prostitution, which is a rather irregular type of work-- yet, still is well-traveled story terrain.

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
While made for what literally looks like $50, and shot on what seems to
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.
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Versions?
There is no difference in the film. The Weinstein Company re-released it with a sexy/violent cover to try and sell it as a sexy thriller.
Apr 10, 2009 by A. D. Bell |  See all 2 posts
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