Lawn Dogs

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 08/17/98 16:27:49

"A great film seen by not nearly enough people. Find it."
5 stars (Awesome)

Sam Rockwell, someone who I've never been overly fond of, is awesome in this low budget "under the radar" flick about suburban prejudices in modern day USA.

His superb performance, however, is totally overshadowed by that of a young non-actor, Misha Barton. She is out of this world as a troubled young girl (Trent) wondering why she can't go where she wants, be friends with who she wants and why the most evil people in her life are the ones that the fences keep in.

Trent is a little askew from those around her and her actions aren't always (in fact are rarely ever) those of a rational well-adjusted young lady. But by the end of this film you're left wondering if rational is the way to go.

The relationship between Rockwell and Barton's characters is particularly unnerving. A twenty something guy and a ten year old girl just "shouldn't" be friends, but these two seem to be able to relate to each other on a level apart from everyone else.
Perhaps it's because they're both slightly mental.

You're always waiting for the whole thing to get sordid, but it never does. Well, at least never between those two. Those really dangerous to young Trent are the people who consider themselves her "protectors".

Christopher McDonald and Kathleen Quinlan, though a little overplayed as Misha's parents, only serve as to emphasise just how good the two leads are.

The story itself takes some time to warm up, but it slams you along the way that many times that you find yourself totally intrigued.

This is a film well worth hunting down, a film that will hold your attention until the unexpected finish, and a film that the less open minded out there will (and have) degrade as akin to porn. It's far from that. It's more an example of just how close-minded some people are.

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