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Towelhead

A grosteque and unbelievable adaptation
By BRETT MICHEL  |  September 17, 2008
1.0 1.0 Stars
towelhead2INSIDE.jpg
TOWELHEAD: Lots of button pushing, few believable individuals.

Why didn’t Alan Ball just title his film Sand Nigger or one of the other epithets bandied about in his grotesque adaptation of Alicia Erian’s novel? It’s clear he’s paid more attention to pushing buttons (yes, even that one) than putting believable humans on screen. Towelhead is the type of tripe that poses as enlightenment in “important” Oscar winners like Crash and American Beauty, and it’s guilty of more of the same: piling one contrivance on another, sacrificing character for contemptible irony. Worse, Ball’s directorial bow lacks the one element that elevated his overrated screenplay for American Beauty: Kevin Spacey’s career-defining performance. Newcomer Summer Bishil flounders as 13-year-old Jasira, a Lebanese-American Alice who’s entered a rabbit hole of molestation, mental abuse, racism, and rape in a Gulf War–era suburban Texas wonderland. Did veteran co-stars Maria Bello and Toni Collette (mothers both) actually believe this material was filmable? 124 minutes | Kendall Square
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, Kevin Spacey,  More more >
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