In the Pacific Northwest during the 1950’s, two young sisters whose mother has abandoned them wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie, whose views of the world and its conventions don’t quite live up the most people’s expectations.
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A song in praise of eccentricity that depicts conformity as slavery and spiritual death. The ending, fleeing into darkness from the kindly old local policeman (this is one of the few American films that show how sinister such a character can be) is a perfect illustration of Thoreau's "If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life."
I want a Criterion version of this film. Not only is it visually outstanding, it's probably the only movie about women in the '50s that made me completely forget it was about women in the '50s. People who think crap like "The Hours" make some kind of poignant feminist statement should be required by law to watch it. Should I say "criminally underrated"? Probably. One of my all-time favorites in a walk.