Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cracks- She said

No matter what story you tell, high school girls are all the same. They have their cliques, routines, and roles. When a new mysterious outsider arrives, one of two things can happen: she’s either immediately accepted or rejected. In Jordan Scott’s “Cracks,” such a girl arrives.

The movie is set in 1934 England at secluded boarding school in rural England. There is structure, order, and discipline. The girls learn about diving, gymnastics, proper letter writing, and flower arrangements. They are arranged into “teams”, or families, and there’s a leader and a teacher for each. Di’s (Juno Temple) team is a well oiled machine. Each girl knows their role and what to play.
They are mentored by Eva Green’s Miss G, who’s a feminist before her time. She preaches to the girls of passion for life and travel, and the girls hang on her every word. She wakes them in middle of the night to have midnight swims and lets Di read books not allowed at school.

Then, Fiamma shows up. Fiamma is from an aristocratic family in Spain. From her first impression, the team and Miss G knows that Fiamma is well beyond her years. She knows who she is as a person while the other girls are still figuring out themselves. This intrigues Miss G, and she becomes obsessed with making Fiamma her new favorite. As Miss G tries to pursue the relationship, Fiamma begins to expose the cracks within Miss G’s “teachings” and thus breaking her.

Jordan Scott does a remarkable job telling this classic high school tale in her debut film. Each girl has her own story, and we can see every motivation behind the girls’ decisions. It would be real easy to write off this story as “Mean Girls” set at a boarding school, but Scott doesn’t let us off that easy. Uneasy questions begin to arise like, “Why does Miss G favor Fiamma?” and “Are Miss G’s stories of travel true or a fantasy she was never able to live herself?”.
Eva Green is phenomenal as Miss G. Her performance is sub On the surface, she’s the type of teacher every girl dreams of. Someone who believes in you and wants you to not set limits for yourself and go for your dreams. However, once one little crack is exposed, your inspiration could be smashed.
Scott’s film is tense, dark, and beautifully shot. Her film truly captivates the trials and tribulations of being a teenage girl, and the power of influence.

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