I don't remember when it was, but I remember, as a teen, suddenly realising both 'Clueless' and 'Pretty in Pink'…
A ten year old girl named Angela leads her six year old sister, Ellie, through various regimens of 'purification' in an attempt to rid themselves of their evil, which she believes to be the cause of their mother's mental illness. Precocious, to say the least, Angela has visions of Lucifer coming to take her and her sister away, and one of her remedies for this is for them to remain within a circle of their dolls and toys until they see a vision of the virgin Mary come to them. But such thinking can only lead to an ending befitting of her own mental state.
I believe I found this on someone's horror film list somewhere, so I was expecting spiritual torment from a child's eye view. The summary—which is accurate—combined with that ominous poster, certainly suggest something sinister. To my surprise, though, this film is produced with a touch as light and pink as cotton candy. The feminine pastels remind me of Barbara Loden's Wanda or Sofia Coppola's best visuals in Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette.
The theme is more female-centric than demon-dwelling, focusing on the guilt and self-destruction particular to women and their society/sexual expectations. Angela tries both to absolve her mother's sins and condemn her for them, something I think many girls with disturbed mothers go through. I can remember the salvation…
"Hail Mary, full of grace, take away this ugly face. Hail Mary, full of grace, take away this ugly face." (Angela)
One of those special movies that are told from a child's point of view and carried mainly by a strong performance by a child actor, in this case Miranda Stuart Rhyne as Angela, a 10-year-old girl who copes with her bipolar mother by becoming a religious nut of sorts, taking her little sister on a crazy journey following her own interpretation of what she's heard about the "Word of the Lord".
It starts as a family drama, with Anna Thomson (a.k.a. Levine, who is known for playing extreme roles in indie movies such as "Sue") as the mother, and…
Arty drama that teaches us that mental illness and religion do not mix. Sadly it failed to engage me with the characters, consequently the plight of the two little girls failed to have the emotional impact the film was looking for.