Irish Film Institute -New Waterford Girl

New Waterford Girl

‘Mooney’ (Liana Balaban) is a talented, bookish 15-year-old whose dreams of a life beyond the small town of New Waterford seem destined to be unfulfilled until Lou (Tara Spencer-Nairn), a girl from the Bronx, moves in next door. Together, this alienated pair plot a ‘devious, sinful and inspired’ escape route from their provincial purgatory that transforms the lives of their families, friends and ultimately themselves.
Directed by Allan Moyle, who showed his affinity for creative, eccentric kids in the underrated Pump Up the Volume and Empire Records and for the chemistry between teenage girls in Times Square, New Waterford Girl is a tender and hilarious vision of female adolescence. The script by Trish Fish, based on her memories of growing up in New Waterford during the ’70s, privileges Mooney’s point of view. She’s alienated from her family and schoolmates, all of whom regard her as a freak, but her desire to leave is tinged with ambivalence. New Waterford may be a one-street town, but the Nova Scotia coast has a rough, romantic beauty, and the closer Mooney comes to getting out, the more she feels the pull of the place. Moyle shows us Nova Scotia through Mooney’s eyes a grey sky softly edged with pink at sunset, a brilliantly blue wooden house, a brick alley where pimply boys grope girls they’ve known since childhood. He also elicits fine performances from his mostly young cast. Balaban in particular is a revelation: her mercurial intelligence and Bront’-heroine beauty signals the arrival of a future star.
1999. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 97 mins.
Plus Camera by David Cronenberg.
2000. 3 mins.

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