Paranoid Park


(out of 5)

Gus Van Sant continues to explore the fascinating (to him) world of shirtless skinny teenagers with this miniature foray into the psyche of a high school student.  Young spends his free time away from high school and girlfriend  (most famous as Ron Howard’s Cindy Lou Who) on a skateboard with his friends in Portland’s Paranoid Park.  He is dogged by the trauma of memories, and gradually we discover that it is specifically the events of a few nights previous when he and his friend were involved in a deadly skirmish.  When a police officer comes to his high school asking questions about the death of a security guard and hopes there are kids with answers for him, our hero feels the pressures of his life and relationships even more.  Christopher Doyle’s beautiful photography gives a lot of depth to what is otherwise a shallow version of Elephant, one that will only work for Van Sant’s most ardent fans.  It’s too short to be boring but too slim to be satisfying, and the secret and tense world of barely pubescent teenagers that seems to transfix the auteur doesn’t necessarily translate as relevant to his entire audience.

France/USA, 2007

Directed by

Screenplay by Gus Van Sant, based on the novel by

Cinematography by ,

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by Gus Van Sant

Film Festivals:  Cannes 2007, TIFF 2007

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

National Society of Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Director (Gus Van Sant)

Independent Spirit Award
Producers Award

Best Feature
Best Director (Gus Van Sant)

Boston Film Critics Awards
Best Director (Gus Van Sant)
Best Cinematography

Best Film Editing



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