I am at my second Sundance Film Festival. These are my reviews.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Nikole Beckwith
PRINCIPAL CAST: Saoirse Ronan, Cynthia Nixon, Jason Isaacs, David Warshofsky
Plot (courtesy of Sundance): A young woman is returned home to her biological parents after living with her abductor for 17 years.
Review: I was very intrigued with Stockholm, Pennsylvania, until I was very annoyed with Stockholm, Pennsylvania. You always want a movie to end on a high note. You want the last moments to give you some sort of high. Whether it leads to conversation or just a feeling doesn’t matter, you just want that extra juice.
Not only does the third act derail into frustration and annoyance with characters’ decisions, it leaves you not wanting to even bother thinking about all of the good that was there in the beginning of Stockholm, Pennsylvania. Ronan does her best dead-eyed stare as a young woman who was adducted and raised for nearly two decades. Nixon is the mom who was barely holding on to hope, and is now trying to find her daughter within this stranger. Some guy plays the absent-minded father. Sadly, this character shouldn’t have even existed in the first place.
Instead of quality therapy, re-learning, and unlearning we focus on marriage strain, and Leia (Ronan) going for walks that cause a panic.
There is so much intrigue with the idea of a girl then woman only knowing a false, manipulative unhealthy love, but the film never gives that concept its full focus. Instead, Stockholm, Pennsylvania just falls off the rails with a ridiculous third act.