Whip It

BE YOUR OWN HERO.

 

Small-town Texas girl Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) is tired of her mother’s (Marcia Gay Harden) attempts to turn her into a beauty queen and falls in love with the roller derby culture. Drew Barrymore’s directing debut offers a charming take on an offbeat sport – but it is above all a movie about growing up in the middle of nowhere and using an out-of-the-mainstream phenomena as a way of achieving independence. Funny, sweet and hits the right tone, with a little help from an appropriate song score. The conflict between mother and daughter won’t surprise anyone, but Page and Harden are accomplished enough to make it work. Jimmy Fallon provides amusing commentary as a ring announcer.

2009-U.S. 111 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Drew Barrymore, Barry Mendel. Directed by Drew Barrymore. Screenplay, Novel: Shauna Cross (“Derby Girl”). Cast: Ellen Page (Bliss Cavendar), Marcia Gay Harden (Brooke Cavendar), Kristen Wiig (Maggie Mayhem), Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, Daniel Stern… Jimmy Fallon, Eve. 

Last word: “The pageant-world was a metaphor for Hollywood, for me. I f**ckin hate cookie-cutter boxes. I hate when you’re supposed to be a certain way, or a certain kind of person. But, I didn’t want to necessarily sh*t on the world of pageants because it’s a total way of life for some people. It does open some doors. I see every film parodying pageants, like they’re the worst things on the planet, and I didn’t want to do that. I just don’t think it’s right for Ellen’s character in the movie. There are so many great things about Hollywood. I love filmmaking. I love the creative process, but there’s a lot of crap in there, too. I don’t think I’m the perfection-type. I think I’m more of a derby girl! These metaphors really meant something to me.” (Barrymore, The Scorecard)

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