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Review: Teenage Kicks Go Too Far in ‘Flower’

From left, Dylan Gelula, Maya Eshet and Zoey Deutch in "Flower," a cruelly amoral but wildly entertaining movie.
Flower
NYT Critic's Pick
Directed by Max Winkler
Comedy, Drama
R
1h 30m

“Flower,” like its pushy 17-year-old heroine, Erica (Zoey Deutch), has a dirty mouth and a strutting confidence. Our introduction to both takes place in the front seat of a police car, where Erica is enthusiastically pleasuring the uniformed driver before extorting cash for her silence. Then it’s off to the Dairy Queen with her two sidekicks to crow over a caper she’s enacted several times before.

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Cruelly amoral and only marginally credible, “Flower” is nevertheless wildly entertaining and at times even touching. Antic and impulsive, Erica is a smart, damaged bully whose father is in prison and whose mother, Laurie (the great Kathryn Hahn), would rather befriend than parent. The teenager also has a strange fixation on penises, which she gratifies by having close encounters with as many as possible and sketching them in a notebook. It’s all very cute, until Laurie’s boyfriend and his deeply troubled son (Tim Heidecker and Joey Morgan) move in and the narrative dives off a cliff.

Even so, the fall is propelled by such zippy dialogue and unexpectedly sweet moments (Erica and Laurie’s relationship, especially, is warmly believable) that you may not care. The supporting players — including Adam Scott as a possibly skeevy high school teacher — are all strong, and the director, Max Winkler (son of Henry), never breaks stride. Making liberal use of dizzying close-ups, he swerves from dark coming-of-age comedy to outright horror, refusing to punish Erica for behavior that grows ever more appalling.

Yet Ms. Deutch is so engaging, and so adept at selling her wounded character, that damned if we don’t want to give Erica a pass, too.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/movies/flower-review-zoey-deutch.html

Flower

Very well-written, acted, and directed, this dark comedy pulls off a difficult stunt: making a deeply objectionable character interesting enough to follow all the way along her messed-up journey. Flower is a suburban teen comedy set in the morally imbalanced universe of a Coen brothers film. When we meet Erica, she's performing a sex act on a middle-aged cop in order to extort him (with a little help from her friends). Erica sasses her soon-to-be-stepfather, idolizes her prison-languishing father, and shows no remorse for her iffy actions. When she meets her stepbrother-to-be, the beautiful girl immediately dismisses him because he's overweight and awkward. But when she finds out he may have been sexually abused by a male teacher, she mobilizes her pals into a vigilante squad. Her quest, however, takes her in unexpected directions, and she finds herself unsure of what to do -- perhaps for the first time ever. On balance, it's a comedy, but things get pretty dark.

The dialogue is sharp, dotted with both teen snark and confident idiocy. Erica persuades her friends to help catch Luke's assailant by blaming his obesity, anxiety, and suicide attempt on the alleged assault, saying if they don't stop the man, he'll attack others. ("Do you want that on your conscience?" "No," says her friend, solemnly, "I don't want anyone to be fat.") And when Erica wants to kiss a boy who knows of her activities, he says, "Your mouth has, like, 10,000 venereal diseases." The direction by Max Winkler (son of Henry) doesn't overplay the bad things; it lets us simply witness the slow-motion train wreck. Winkler allows space for nonverbal interactions -- the life between the lines. Casting director Rich Delia deserves kudos not just for landing the always-good Hahn (who's great here as a loving but worn-out mom) and Heidecker (quietly truthful), but also finding the lesser-known and hilarious Dylan Gelula and Maya Eshet to complete the dunderheaded teen vigilante set. Adam Scott's natural likability is perfect for the did-he-or-didn't-he possible molester; a highlight is his nerdy-bitchy debate about hip-hop with Erica. As Luke, Morgan is an effective cipher. He keeps us off-balance for most of the film. And in an audacious lead turn, Deutsch has the brass to go there. She's unafraid, which is what the part needs. Flower wraps up a bit too tidily, and its amoral universe definitely isn't for all moviegoers. But it's original, clever, funny, and ugly, making it -- perhaps -- a sunny noir? 

Sours: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/flower
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Flower

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Sours: https://www.hulu.com/movie/flower-7cf34839-b00c-4c45-92e6-72680f723be4
The Flowers Of War -Christian Bale, Ni Ni. مترجم

Flower (film)

This article is about the 2017 film. For other films, see Flower (disambiguation).

2017 American film

Flower is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed by Max Winkler, from a screenplay by Alex McAulay, Winkler, and Matt Spicer. It stars Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Tim Heidecker, Adam Scott, Joey Morgan, and Dylan Gelula.

It had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2017. It was released theatrically on March 16, 2018, by The Orchard.

Plot[edit]

Seventeen-year-old Erica Vandross gives a police officer a blowjob in his patrol car, after which two of her friends sneak up and record them. They extort $400 from the cop as Erica is underage. Erica and her friends are vigilantes who frequently entrap ephebophiles. Erica is saving up to bail her father out of prison, where he is awaiting trial for trying to rob a casino.

Erica's mother Laurie isn't bothered by Erica's promiscuity, but Laurie is disappointed that Erica doesn't like Laurie's new boyfriend Bob. Bob has an obese son named Luke, an emotionally disturbed 18-year-old who gets out of rehab and comes to live with them. Erica offers Luke a blowjob, which he refuses, but they soon develop an unlikely friendship.

At a bowling alley, Luke has a panic attack when he sees his middle school teacher, Will Jordan, whom he accused of sexual assault. Will was never charged due to inconsistencies in Luke's story. Later that night, Erica interrupts Luke's suicide attempt.

Erica and her posse decide to make Will their next target, and Luke reluctantly agrees to participate. At a grocery store, Erica flirts with Will, and later she approaches him at the bowling alley. Although Will is aware that Erica is underage, they make out in his car in the parking lot. Before things can go any further, she abruptly stops it. Her friends accuse her of sabotaging the plan because she likes Will.

The gang forms a new plan. Erica blows a drug dealer in exchange for roofies and they lace a beer with it. Erica visits Will's house with a six pack, apologizes for the previous night, and they go inside his house to hang out. She asks about a model of the Eiffel Tower on his coffee table, and this prompts him to tell the story of being fired and divorced after he was falsely accused of molestation. Erica slaps the beer out of his hand, but as he feels the strong effect of the roofies, he grabs her arm and she screams. Luke runs in and knocks Will onto the glass coffee table, smashing it. The four of them pick Will up and prop him up on the couch while two of the girls strip down to their underwear and take pictures with him to use as blackmail. Luke worries that Will's breathing is too slow, but they leave, shaken by the encounter. On the way out, Erica sees that the other girls have spray-painted the word "pedophile" on the garage door.

The next morning, police show up at the Vandross house and accuse Erica and Luke of vandalism. They mention that they haven't been able to contact Will yet, so Erica and Luke go back to his house to make sure he's okay. They find Will sitting on the couch exactly where they left him and try to shake him awake, but he is dead. He falls over, revealing blood and the Eiffel Tower model impaled in his back. Luke convinces Erica they have to run away to Mexico.

While on the run, Erica looks for reassurance from Luke that Will deserved what happened to him. Luke reveals that he was never molested by Will; he walked in on Will molesting his classmate, but she was afraid to tell anyone, so Luke lied to keep it from happening to anyone else. Luke surprises Erica by driving her to her father's prison and giving her bail money. However, she is heartbroken to find out that he was bailed out a few days ago and did not contact her.

Erica decides she doesn't want to live life as a fugitive; she wants them to go home and turn themselves in. Luke agrees, but on their way back, a police car tries to pull them over. Erica tells Luke that they can't get caught before turning themselves in, so they try to lose the police on a dirt road. During the chase, Luke confesses his love for Erica. They give up on the chase, stop the car, and have sex on the ground, where the police find them. One month later, Erica visits Luke in prison shortly before her house arrest begins. Despite their circumstances, they are happy and in love.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

On June 23, 2016, it was reported that Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, and Tim Heidecker would star in Flower, directed by Max Winkler from a script by Alex McAulay that was on the 2012 Black List of best unproduced screenplays. Filming was set to begin that summer.[3]

Filming[edit]

Filming was completed in 17 days in San Fernando Valley.[4]

Release[edit]

Flower premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2017.[5][6] Shortly after, The Orchard acquired distribution rights to the film.[7] The first trailer teaser was released on December 1, 2017.[8] The film was released on March 16, 2018.[9]

Reception[edit]

As of August 2020[update], the film holds a 49% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 71 reviews with an average rating of 5.6 out of 10. The site's consensus states, "Flower proves Zoey Deutch can bring even the most preposterously written characters vividly to life—and that she isn't quite enough to carry a fundamentally flawed film."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^Kelley, Sonaiya (March 14, 2018). "Dark comedy 'Flower' is a coming-of-age story ripe for the Time's Up era". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  2. ^"Flower (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  3. ^Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 23, 2016). "Max Winkler Indie 'Flower' Blooms With Zoey Deutch, Kathryn Hahn, Tim Heidecker & Adam Scott". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  4. ^Lee, Ashley (April 20, 2017). "How Zoey Deutch Made 'Flower' Bloom With In-Character Therapy and Female Crew". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  5. ^"TRIBECA 2017 ANNOUNCES FEATURE FILM LINE UP FOR COMPETITION, SPOTLIGHT, VIEWPOINTS, AND MIDNIGHT SECTIONS". Tribeca Film Festival. March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  6. ^"Flower". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  7. ^D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 23, 2017). "Max Winkler's Teenage Comedy 'Flower' Plants Itself At The Orchard – Tribeca". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  8. ^"FLOWER (2018) Official Red Band Teaser Trailer HD". The Orchard Movies. YouTube. December 1, 2017.
  9. ^Farley, Rebecca (November 30, 2017). "Watch Zoey Deutch Sow Chaos In The Official Teaser For Flower". Refinery29. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  10. ^"Flower (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  11. ^"Flower Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 20, 2020.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_(film)

Movie flower hulu

Juno plus Lolita equals "Flower," an indie drama about Erica (Zoey Deutch), a spunky-profane, sexually active, criminally ambitious 17-year old from the San Fernando Valley. Directed and co-written by Max Winkler (son of actor Henry Winkler), the movie is a Frankenstein quilt of not-quite-there-ness. Almost nothing convinces—not the story, not the script's view of human nature, not the dialogue, not even Erica, a young woman who's at the center of every scene, and is presented as a force of nature who's as beguiling and funny as she is relentless, even though, very often, she's none of those things. The cast's heroic exertions fail to save "Flower" from its own worst tendencies.

"Flower" starts with Erica performing oral sex on a local police officer as part of an ongoing blackmail scheme that keeps her and her two best pals, Kala (Dylan Gelula) and Claudine (Maya Eshet), in shopping money while adding to a fund to bail Erica's absentee dad out of jail. Erica's mother Laurie (Kathryn Hahn) is dating a nice single dad named Bob (Tim Heidecker). Bob's teenage son, an overweight and painfully shy recovering drug addict named Luke (Joey Morgan), leaves rehab and moves in, prompting Erica to try to get to know him Erica-style, by making a lot of knowing wisecracks and then offering oral sex to chill him out. "I like sucking dick, it wouldn't be a burden," she assures him.

She does this sort of thing a lot. "Flower" expends quite a bit of screen time on Erica's nonchalance about oral sex, playing it either for laughs (she keeps a sketchbook of all the penises she's serviced) or pathos, always keeping things cute or sweet, never delving deep enough into Erica's psyche to show how damaged a teenager must be to live that kind of life. The film is queasily fascinated by her sexuality, and sometimes veers perilously close to getting off on it (as in a sequence where Erica dances to loosen up Luke, at one point clinging to a pole like a stripper). This is a different proposition from exploring a teenager's sexuality, as many superior independent films, not all of them directed by women, have done before.

From there, "Flower" turns into a teenage bonding story, with an unstable, ultimately grotesque undertone of voyeuristic fascination. Luke declines Erica's offer of a therapeutic hummer, telling her that he's been a barely-functioning person since childhood, when he was molested by a man who happens to frequent the bowling alley where Erica and her friends hang out. His name is Will Jordan (Adam Scott), but Erica calls him Hot Old Guy. Another blackmail scheme is hatched, driven not just by greed but a desire for payback—and in one of the film's only intriguing twists, it's Erica who wants vengeance, on her possible future stepbrother's behalf. Whether this is a perverse attempt at bonding or the result of Erica projecting her submerged anger against her absentee father and various johns is left ambiguous—a rare example of restraint in a movie that otherwise never misses an opportunity to explain its characters to us.

Luke says no to Erica's plan at first, but she keeps hammering away at him. "Shaking down a child molester is our moral obligation," she insists. "If we don't act now, then other little boys might get butt-raped like little Lukey over here, and then 15 years from now they'll be popping pills and eating their feelings, too." Reaching for a pop culture comparison, she asks Luke, "What would Batman and Robin do if they saw the Joker sticking his finger up little boys' assholes?" Despite all the disgust she beams in Will's general direction, she's clearly infatuated with him, to the point where her crusade on Luke's behalf starts to seem like a pretext to add one more drawing to her sketchbook.

The heroine is the movie's least convincing character, and that's a serious problem. Where every other individual in "Flower" seems like a person who could exist, at least in theory—and the exquisitely observed details of working-class life do much to sell the film's world to us—Erica remains an abstraction, the sum total of her quirks, from that penis sketchbook to her pet rat Titty Boy, who eats Hot Cheetos and watches "Sixteen and Pregnant" with her and sometimes sits inside a carrying case resting on her stomach while Erica suns herself on a swimming pool's diving board like Ben Braddock in "The Graduate." She's a bundle of attitudes and tics who never comes into focus as an actual teenage girl, however stylized or emblematic or larger-than-life she was intended to be. 

In the end, Erica exemplifies a female character type that critic Nathan Rabin dubbed the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl," who "exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." The character can be seen in 1930s screwball comedies like "Bringing Up Baby," in such post-millennial films as "Garden State" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and in Jonathan Demme's 1986 road film "Something Wild," about a repressed Yuppie bore who loosens up after a free spirit lures him into a wild, sexy, dangerous adventure. ("Flower" fesses up to its "Something Wild" fixation by eventually having Luke and Erica don wigs the same color as Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels' hair in Demme's movie.) 

At its best, this kind of character can become the engine driving a film, even if she only makes sense as half of a couple. At its worst, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a phony life force: an intellectual screenwriter's dirty-wacky fantasy. This film puts the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character at the heart of the story for its first two-thirds, only to dis-empower and marginalize her, reducing her to a prize to be claimed by the anguished, ruddy-faced Luke, who starts out emasculated and introverted but becomes bolder and more decisive as the storyline darkens and grows violent. "Flower" turns out to be a stealth male rescue fantasy. The damsel-in-distress thinks she's the hero of the story, but she's mainly the catalyst for a troubled young man's catharsis, just like every other film in this genre.

"Flower" is cloying, simplistic, clueless, and indifferent to most of the suffering that it chronicles. It only comes alive in a handful of dramatic showpiece moments that are likely the reason the actors signed on to do the movie (Scott and Hahn win Best in Show), but these are unfortunately hamstrung by intrusive underscoring that seems meant to take the sting out of a movie that needs all the sting can get. Deutch overplays Erica as a wisecracking femme tomboy, telegraphing every "outrageous" line and cheeky reaction, pushing her right up to the edge of caricature in a borderline-Nicolas-Cage-like way, as if trying to force the movie to become the bad-taste comedy-drama that it probably needed to be in order to succeed. It's a bold play that doesn't work, but it's more compelling than anything the script or direction can offer. 

The ending is oblivious to the human cost of the wild schemes perpetrated by Erica, Luke and the others. This would be wickedly delightful if the film were a satire on disturbed, selfish people, but it shows no signs of having that sort of self-awareness. Mostly it's incompetent. To say that the final scene is as chilling as anything in "Badlands" or "Natural Born Killers" would be high praise if "Flower" seemed even the slightest bit aware of how sociopathic it seems at that moment. If you could pour the worst tendencies of American independent cinema over the last twenty years into a gigantic soup tureen and let it simmer overnight, this film would be the unappetizing result. 

Matt Zoller Seitz

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Sours: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/flower-2018
《鲜花》/ Flower 哈萨克族女歌手的成长历程 ( 茹扎·达吾列提 / 法蒂哈·马力克 ) - new movie 2021 - 最新电影2021

The Blow-Job-Obsessed Flower Is a Bizarrely Off-Putting Teen Fabrication

Zoey Deutch in Flower. Photo: Orchard

It’s incredible what happens when the wildly inaccurate conjectures that adolescent boys have about adolescent girls are allowed to flourish, unchecked, all the way until said adolescent boy is a grown man given the keys to a quirky indie movie. Thoroughbreds was one such fantasia, its teen anti-heroines rendered flat and affectless enough to defy the laws of physics and/or adolescent reality. But Flower, directed by Max Winkler (son of Henry) is in a different league. Zoey Deutch’s Erica is a mind-bogglingly misguided fabrication — a bizarre fun-house reflection of every weird hang-up and fetishization pop culture piles onto the word “teens,” ten Skins characters rolled into one, a concoction of a bored screenwriter.

Your guess is as good as mine as to the title — the script, by Ingrid Goes West director Matt Spicer, goes out of its way to be indelicate. Erica is introduced to us giving a blow job to a local cop in his car, finishing with a blasé demand for $20. It’s the kind of screenplay hook whose forced shock you can totally imagine two grown men high-fiving themselves over at your local coffee shop. The rendezvous ends up being setup: Erica and her friends (played by Maya Eshet and Dylan Gelula of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) have a running scam in which they record her orally servicing all manner of grown men around town, and use the footage to extort money from them. You know, teen stuff. A few hundred here and there, which Erica dutifully stashes away in a fund whose purpose we are not immediately let in on.

Erica lives with her single mom (Kathryn Hahn in a role that feels written — and styled — for Juliette Lewis)‚ her father is absent, having gone to prison for “being awesome in a casino.” But her peaceful idyll is disrupted when her mom moves in with her boyfriend (Tim Heidecker) and his awkward, just-outta-rehab son Luke (Joey Morgan). Erica hates Luke at first — he isn’t the hot heroin addict she’d envisioned, and he’s disgusted by her suggestion of oral sex as a cure for his panic attacks. But then they begin to bond over a shared fixation on a regular at the bowling alley they frequent, played by Adam Scott: Erica has a crush on him, Luke accused him of molestation in middle school. Erica and her friends, along with Luke, scheme to take him down, while Erica and Luke grow closer, and the film’s dual themes — blow jobs, statutory rape — are deployed in about as tasteful a manner as you can imagine.

One thing I do appreciate about Flower is its embrace of its lower-middle-class SoCal setting. The dusty, drought-parched suburb Erica and her friends bum around is thoughtfully depicted — drab and romantic at the same time. The film takes place over the summer, and the film feels as drifty and aimless as summer break. It also feels just as sweaty. That well-observed naturalism is even more of a stark background for these bizarre characters. The two main exceptions are Heidecker and especially Morgan, by far the best performer in the film. Luke is a darker, stranger figure than most miserable misfits are allowed to be onscreen. He feels like a character who continues to live even when he’s not onscreen, unlike Erica, who feels only written for her screen time — and performed with great sense of demonstration by the usually sensitive and smart Deutch.

It recalls Spicer’s last script, in which the “weirdo” love interest ends up being far more personable than the titular, tech-obsessed cartoon of modern womanhood. Flower goes completely off the rails in its final act, but even worse, it brings its one human character off the rails with it, culminating in a moment of mutual vulnerability so unearned it might qualify as embezzlement. But I’ll give Flower props — in an age when so many teen movies are grasping so desperately for message-y topicality, it does the impossible, and manages to be about nothing at all.

Flower Is a Bizarrely Off-Putting Teen FabricationSours: https://www.vulture.com/2018/03/flower-is-a-bizarrely-off-putting-teen-fabrication.html

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critics consensus

Flower proves Zoey Deutch can bring even the most preposterously written characters vividly to life -- and that she isn't quite enough to carry a fundamentally flawed film.Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Rebellious, quick-witted Erica Vandross is a 17-year-old firecracker living with her single mom, Laurie, and her mom's new boyfriend, Bob, in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. When Bob's mentally unbalanced son, Luke, arrives from rehab to live with the family, Erica finds her domestic and personal life overwhelmed. With Luke and her sidekicks Kala and Claudine in tow, Erica acts out by exposing a high school teacher's dark secret.

  • Rating:

    R (Graphic Nude Drawings|Crude Sexual Content|A Brief Violent Image|Language Throughout|Some Drug Content)

  • Genre:

    Drama, Comedy

  • Original Language:

    English

Sours: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/flower_2018


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