In Karen Moncrieff's rambling but ultimately fulfilling BLUE CAR,
Meg is a troubled high school student about to win a local poetry
contest. With encouragement from Mr. Auster, her AP English teacher,
she hopes to find some way to get to Florida for the national finals
after she wins locally.
In a touching and understated performance, Agnes Bruckner (MURDER
BY NUMBERS) plays Meg. Less effective is David Strathairn's remote
reading of her English teacher. When Mr. Auster describes the burial
of his four-year-old son, he sounds downright clinical about it, as
if the tragedy happened to someone else entirely.
Although Meg has real talent, her mother, Diane (Margaret Colin),
couldn't care less. Diane is too busy for Meg or Meg's younger sister,
Lily (Regan Arnold). Lily does everything from cutting herself to
starving herself in failed attempts to get her mother's attention.
When Meg tells her mother that Lily hasn't eaten anything in two
weeks, her mother isn't the least bit concerned, reasoning that Lily
is probably eating something at school. The girls' father -- the
parents are divorced -- shows up only at major holidays. Meg is convinced
that it's because her mother is impossible to be around. Based solely
on our observations, it would appear that Meg is probably right.
Although it is far from a perfect film, the story provides such a
poignant and believable characterization of Meg that it easily touches your heart.
BLUE CAR runs 1:36. It is not yet rated but would be R for language,
sexuality and mature themes and would be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes