Almost too convincing
A. Griffiths | London | 06/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie succeeds in being hugely entertaining thanks to Holly Hunter's amazing performance in the title role. She is thoroughly convincing as the trashy, pushy mom who's dedication to the success of her daughter's future as a cheerleader eventually leads to attempted murder. The realism is heightened by the use of restaged media footage, and "interviews" with Hunter (in character), who's cracked logic and twitchy mannerisms will have you in stitches. All the performances are good, and the result is a very black comedy that effectively ridicules this misguided woman's bizarre and near-deadly obsession with success and one-upmanship. Recommended, as it works on so many levels."
blockhed | UK | 06/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, blow me over! I was stunned! I bought this dvd in a supermarket for less than I've ever paid before, expecting nothing much, purely on the basis of the peculiar title and the name of Holly Hunter. It's an absolute masterpiece: story, direction, acting, the lot! Made 13 years ago, and I'd never heard of it. One of the mothers talks about skill, not promotion, and that must be it. Tons of skill, no promotion. It is simply too good to be plugged, and its reputation can only get steadily better: see the other reviews --- a chorus of agreement. Holly is amazing, and everyone else is just perfect. Every scene is a delight: weirdly true and truly weird. This goes straight into the small group of films that I regard as the best ever.
Later. Well, I just have to add something to try to work out just what makes this movie so perfect. Basically, it must be down to the writing, which is superb. The dialogue never puts a foot wrong. These characters are fully rounded, totally developed, highly comic, yet incredibly real. Everything in the relationships is understated, subtle, accurately observed, and convincing. You feel you know exactly what these people are like, and can visualize precisely how this bizarre situation arose. Holly's performance is out of this world. The scene in the car with Beau Bridges is one of the two or three funniest I have ever seen. You know that Wanda doesn't really believe what she is saying, yet at the same time she really does want Verna gone. Verna's reactions are just as brilliant, and the slide into celebrity status of all the participants, including the school kids, is so accurate it hurts. The family atmosphere in the Holloway household is spot on; and the boy's performance is particularly good. What a consummate work of art!"
I went to school with these people!
R. McConnell | Tennessee | 01/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is my understanding that Holly Hunter never met Wanda Holloway before she made this movie. If that was true, then she deserves every award she gets. Her portrayal of Wanda was TOP NOTCH! I went to Channelview High School with Wanda, Terry and Tony Harper. If you watch this movie for no other reason than Miss Hunters performance, you will not be unsatisfied. Of course, Hollywood made everyone else look like a cartoon.
As fine an actor as Beau Bridges is, no one could do justice to a character like Terry Harper.
This is NOT a documentary, folks!"
Awesome acting, great comedic script
inframan | 07/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was hysterical! I loved Holly Hunter - she definitely deserved an Emmy for her performance. The music was great too -- I'm hoping "Dead Dog" was written for the movie and isn't a real song. If it IS a real song, than country music has hit an alltime low regarding subject matter for tunes. See this movie, you'll be glad you did!"