The Girl (2013)
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Critic Reviews for The Girl
A sentimental shift in the last reel of the film seems artificially designed to wrap up the story and demonstrate that a life lesson has been learned. It's when it's at its most contemplative that The Girl is at its best.
There's a heartfelt tenderness for this troubled character on Riker & Cornish's part but it comes at the expense of realism or any serious answers to the questions raised by the film.
It's unfortunate that Riker's strong central character and evocative location work get undermined, at every turn, by a plot that not only springs zero surprises, but reduces the terror and loss of Cornish's charges to mere life lessons for her.
The Girl enlightens with an unusual insight into the courage, durability and struggle of the Mexican people while taking the viewer on a guided tour of a piece of the country tourists never see.
In all aspects, The Girl can't help it-this is headline-torn cinema du tearjerking at its most generic.
Audience Reviews for The Girl
In "The Girl," Ashley(Abbie Cornish) has problems that extend just beyond her low paying job. Namely her DUI conviction that resulted in her son being put into foster care. So, she welcomes the opportunity to bond with her father(Will Patton) at his home in Mexico. After finding out what he does for money, namely smuggling people across the border in his truck, she gets some ideas of her own... Abbie Cornish deserves better than this. In the past she has shown much more promise and talent than here with "The Girl" where her character is mostly defined by a wonky Texas accent.(Will Patton is great, by the way.) At the same time, that's one of this sentimental and mawkish movie's lesser flaws, where the central point seems to be to prove that Ashley is really not such a terrible person after all. This is in a world where migrants have bigger problems than clueless white people.
I really liked this movie. If you are looking for an action-packed thriller, look somewhere else, though. This is a slower paced film about a flawed woman trying to correct her actions. The movie contrasts the sensibility and strength of a young Mexican girl, with the selfishness of the American woman. The very poor Mexican family lives with dignity, while she lives in squalor. This was a good, heartfelt film. Abbie Cornish turned in a lovely performance as always, and the little girl in this was adorable.
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