It's impressive to watch Laura Dern play a white-trash nincompoop with the kind of ferocity and venal enterprise rarely seen on screen. Her pregnant drug addict's greatest ambition is sniffing paint and to "do what I want". Alexander Payne, who lost his edge after ELECTION, is unforgiving here as he gleefully explores the crushing absurdity of life. There's incredible irony in the closing shot: nobody actually cares.
In spite of any flaws, my mind keeps thinking back to that flawless ending. It completely validates the cartoonish depictions of both sides of the abortion debate – though in its broad stroke satire, Citizen Ruth hits upon essential truths. Make no mistake: Alexander Payne's biggest point is the propensity of people to exploit others as they fight their ideological battles – regardless of whose side it is.
I've given up on all Alexander Payne post-SIDEWAYS, and even up to then, it's a downward slope from this, still his best film by far - just as funny as any of the others, but the only one with real, earned meaning and compassion, before he got too cool/cynical to be seen caring about anything. Very well done by all involved (esp. Dern, but the filmmaking is very smart), and quite moving, ultimately.
Un testimonio sobre el oportunismo religioso, político como social. Un grupo de fanáticos intentará replantear la vida de una mujer. Alexander Payne se inaugura con un filme sutil que perfilándose a la dialéctica de "nadie sabe para quien trabaja". Genial Laura Dern y otros actores que caricaturizan (y satirizan) sin caer en la exageración.
A young, heavydrinking, drugdoing woman played by Laura Dern gets impregnated for the fourth time but the state demands her to have an abortion. She gets out on bail and from there she is used as throwing ball between the contrasting pro-camps. Another fine satire from Payne with an ending that summarises the film very well. No one cares about the individual, it's all for the bigger picture. Solid four stars.