By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
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By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
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“Between that and the way people treated me on the set, I felt so betrayed that the last thing in the world I ever wanted to do to Agnes, who’s just this huge emerging talent, was to crush any of that — make her feel used, or like she was offering up her guts to this part and we were going to take advantage of it in some way.”
The scene is certainly a world away from Adrian Lyne’s Lolita, which eroticized the awkwardness of its central relationship. Moncrieff doesn’t much remember that film, she says, and while she appreciates Nabokov’s novel as literature, she rejects any real comparisons, since Lolita, in essence, was not about Lolita.
“Lolita is very much from Humbert Humbert’s viewpoint,” Moncrieff says. “He goes on and on, objectifying Lolita in the most beautiful language ever committed to the page. But I tried really, really hard to make this Meg’s story and Meg’s experience, through her eyes.”
“I just got asked this Lolita question too,” Bruckner says. “But I don’t think Meg is like Lolita in any way; I don’t think she’s in any way sexual like that . . .”
“Obviously, Agnes doesn’t quite know her effect on people!” Moncrieff says, laughing.
If there is any romantic image-making in the film, it’s in the way Meg takes on the traditionally male archetype of the outsider — the young artist running away from home, jumping on a Greyhound, sleeping on a beach, shoplifting just to get by.
“I never thought about that,” says Moncrieff, “but it’s true. I am always attracted to the loner, the still-waters-run-deep kind of thing, the person at the back of the class who’s not saying too much, but she’s drawing. I suppose it was fun to imagine an inner life for that kind of character.”
In doing so, and in constructing a visual environment to reflect that inner life, Moncrieff builds a slightly anonymous version of reality: Meg seems to live in Anytown, USA, attending Anyschool. Here, there are no name-brand sneakers, no MTV, no rock posters. There aren’t even that many teenagers. (Meg has one girlfriend, but spends most of her time at home doing schoolwork.) It’s a bleak, chiaroscuro world that evokes the kind of loneliness only a child of divorce really understands.
In that sense — and in that sense alone — Blue Caris highly autobiographical. The genesis of the script, says Moncrieff, “was in a class where I started writing about the time right after my own parents were divorced. I remember being in this apartment, and my mom crying, sitting on the floor, and me and my sister sort of holding hands around her. Suddenly everything had changed. Suddenly this intact world that I had taken for granted shifted completely, and I remember this deep feeling of loneliness and alienation.
“Still, in terms of plot points, it’s not autobiographical. Although I do know what it’s like to aspire to be an artist, and I have had complex and difficult relationships with father figures in my life, Blue Car does not really resemble my life.” She pauses for a moment, searching for the right words.
“But it does resemble my heart.”