PIN CUSHION begins so nauseatingly twee that I felt like a cornered animal, and the funny thing is: it absolutely continues to be twee in its way but starts to becomes so utterly bleak and agonizing that I couldn't help but perk up a bit. It eventually dawned on me that maybe you do kind of have to take a path as twisted as this one to properly impart how utterly vile it is to be a teenager. Solid misdirection.
3.8 stars. Really impressed that a film simultaneously so cute and so grim feels so tonally cohesive. Some of the symbolism was a trifle over-determined, but the quietly furious dissection of a very British mode of close-minded cruelty was blindingly on-point. I remember similar grotesque abuses at my secondary school. I have less hope than Haywood that the perpetrators are haunted by remorse. Pity the meek.
This film has amazing parallels to Mean Girls given how much you spend of its running time crying. Deborah Haywood seems like some kind of mash-up of Wes Anderson and Ken Loake in a combination that is very surprisingly powerful. This is one of the bleakest [new] films I have seen in years.