Die Mädchen von Tanner Hall (2009)

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Die Mädchen von Tanner Hall: Directed by Francesca Gregorini, Tatiana von Fürstenberg. With Rooney Mara, Georgia King, Brie Larson, Amy Ferguson. Tanner Hall is a vivid peek into the private world of an all-girls boarding school. In a cozy, but run-down New England, the knot of adolescent complexity is unraveled through the coming-of-age stories of four teenage girls.

“As a young lad, I often fantasized about attending an all-girl boarding school in New England, or maybe someplace in Europe. However, there was always one obvious obstacle to my dream. One minor character in this movie has overcome this obstacle–he gets to attend the titular all-female institution because he is the head-mistressu0026#39; son. The MAIN characters in the film though are four girls–three long-time school chums and a childhood friend of one of them, who transfers to the school and serves as kind of a catalyst for all the melodrama that follows.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThere IS a goodly amount of melodrama–two of the girls get involved with older men. One (Brie Larson) flirts with her English teacher (Chris Kattan) mostly just for her own amusement, but ends up inadvertently causing great problems between him and his sexually frustrated fellow teacher/wife (Amy Sidaris). The other girl, the main protagonist (Rooney Mara) embarks on a much more serious affair with an expectant father (Tom Everett Scott), who happens to be married to her motheru0026#39;s best friend. A third girl has questions about her sexual identity. But perhaps the most troubled girl is the newcomer (Georgia King) whose obsession with cutting herself and history of suicide attempts are the result of childhood trauma that is alluded to early on, but not revealed until the end.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLet me say first off that if the very many high-school age girls looked like Rooney Mara and Brie Larson, pretty much all adult heterosexual men would be in jail right now. But this movie was directed by two women, so it never really veers too much into exploitation territory. This would not necessarily be a liability if it worked better as a straight drama, but all the characters remain undeveloped as individuals and never really gel as a group. The movie also really tries to cover too much in 90 minutes, going into the lives of all four girls AND several of the adults (particularly the two teachers played Kattan and Sedaris). Itu0026#39;s hard to fault any of the actors here though. Rooney Mara, for instance, would go on to play another sexy schoolgirl in u0026quot;Youth in Revoltu0026quot; before hitting the big-time with the US version of u0026quot;Girl with a Dragon Tattoou0026quot;. Sheu0026#39;s achingly lovely in this movie, but–like everyone else–not a fully developed character you can care much about. Her character is kind of indicative of the whole movie–very pretty, but somehow not very substantial.”


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