Now playing in New York City
Additional cities throughout May
Amber Tamblyn has left behind the days of traveling pants and coffee talk with God by her high school locker. In “Stephanie Daley,” writer/director, Hilary Brougher takes us into the world of a small town where a 16-year-old-girl (Tamblyn) is suspected of hiding her pregnancy from the world, and later, murdering the newborn child. Her parents have their own drama going on so they don’t notice and baggy sweaters help quite a bit as well. After the main event goes down, a very pregnant forensic psychologist (played by Tilda Swinton) is brought in to discover what really happened. She’s having troubles at home as well, with hubby played by Timothy Hutton. Then there’s the boy who raped the shy and unsuspecting Stephanie. With the exception of Denis O’Hare as Frank, all the men in the film are fairly piggish. They don’t care about their wives, daughters or girlfriends. The feminist overtone is a bit much, but there are moments of male redemption to be found if you look closely. What the film does have to offer is an acute vision of the small clusters of America where people can be so wrapped up in their own little lives that the don’t see tragedies on the verge right before their eyes. Swinton is as sharp and breathtaking as ever in a storyline that gets to the meat of all the subtle, unspoken moments that can lead a marriage to fracture. Tamblyn’s performance begins as the quiet and moody fare one might expect, but quickly evolves into a remarkable, sensitive and powerful portrayal of a young woman so lost that she doesn’t even register what is happening in her own mind and body. And that, my friends, is something worth watching.