Think of Me

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Think of Me

This story of a struggling single mom sidesteps the perils of exploitation.

Bryan Wizemann (USA, Contemporary World Cinema)

SCREENINGS:
Friday, September 9, 5:15 p.m.
AMC 6 (10 Dundas Street East)

Sunday, September 11, 10:45 a.m.
AMC 7 (10 Dundas Street East)

Saturday, September 17, 6:15 p.m.
AMC 7 (10 Dundas Street East)


In its opening reel, when struggling single-mom Angela (Lauren Ambrose) stalks strip clubs just off the glamorous Las Vegas strip, brings home a man whom she assumes is a professional basketball player, and shamelessly asks him for $100 the next morning, Think of Me sets itself up as a fairly straight-ahead piece of poverty porn. The sense that it’s emotionally jerking us around deepens as we see Angela clock in at a crummy job at a call centre, alongside co-worker Max (Dylan Baker), shop for shoes for her probably dyslexic daughter Sunny (Audrey P. Scott), and get finagled into a real estate investment scam by her boss (David Conrad). Wizemann introduces us to Angela at the end of her rope and dangles the character in front of us as the rope itself stretches and frays to the point of snapping.

About mid-way through, though, a more interesting movie presents itself, as Max arranges for Angela and Sunny to meet his well-meaning sister (Penelope Ann Miller), who seems perversely interested in Sunny’s well-being. Here Wizemann introduces us to something very troubling indeed: a black market adoption scam more troubling than Angela’s persistent cash flow problems. Ambrose is marvelous as Angela, able to sustain a delicate, about-to-crack facade until the film’s wrenching finale. More impressive, though, is the character of Sunny. Finally a film gives us a gawky kid character whose social and physical awkwardness doesn’t come across as precocious.

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