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Review: Norman

Suburban settings
By NINA MASHUROVA  |  October 18, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

Cancer seems to be the breakout star of indie films this season. In Jonathan Segal's Norman, it gets its hands on the title character's father and is the catalyst for his emotional turmoil and social alienation, though you get the feeling he was never too well adjusted to begin with. Dan Byrd is simultaneously macabre and vulnerable in the lead role, to the point where he seems less like a troubled teenager and more like a young Philip Seymour Hoffman. Byrd's performance, paired with Andrew Bird's ethereal score, makes for some genuinely haunting moments. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is pulled straight from the Everwood universe, right down to Emily VanCamp as the perpetually wholesome and supportive romantic interest. As the film traces and retraces the Bermuda Triangle of suburban settings (bleak home, sun-kissed car rides, dreaded high school), the trapped animal look in Norman's eyes feels more and more like an appropriate reaction.

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  Topics: Reviews , Boston, school, social,  More more >
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