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Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2011: 'Think of Me'

Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) gives a breakout film performance as a single mother struggling to make ends meet in seedy Las Vegas.

THINK OF ME

Director: Bryan Wizemann

Cast: Lauren Ambrose, Audrey Scott, Dylan Baker, Penelope Ann Miller, Adina Porter, David Conrad

Country: USA

Think of Me (Bryan Wizemann)

Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) gives a breakout film performance as a single mother struggling to make ends meet in seedy Las Vegas. Working two jobs while trying to wrestle child support out of her ex-, slipping out for hits of meth from her upstairs neighbour, having anonymous sex with the guys she picks up at the local strip bar (and then awkwardly suggesting they could like maybe pay her a hundred bucks?), and generally being a terrible mother to her already troubled eight-year old daughter, Ambrose plays a young woman caught up in intractable problems. Plus, she is completely alone.

Even the people who try to help her out appear to be creepy, manipulative, untrustworthy in the extreme. Ambrose’s Angela is adrift, and while we watch her struggling against the chains that have entangled her, we see them only tighten with each desperate movement. As a tour around the edges of third world America -- a place where children wear the same cheap clothes day in and out, the car never starts, the credit card is king, and the carwash is the best entertainment money can buy -- this is a chilling and illuminating film. Too bad the ending feels hollow, relying on a deus ex machina trick that feels utterly out of snyc with the otherwise stark realism of the foregoing.

6

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