Pill-popping Cutters Will be Girls in Private School Coming of Ager Tanner Hall
Rooney Mara plays a boarding-school girl with a bitchy nemesis in Tanner Hall, Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Fürstenberg's tale of teenage rivalry, forbidden romance and other musty coming-of-age concerns. At the titular all-female New England academy, Fernanda (Mara) escapes life with an emotionally detached mom to cavort with friends, a slo-mo blissful existence marred by the arrival of Victoria (Georgia King), a nasty childhood acquaintance set on stealing Fernanda's BFFs—tart Kate (Brie Larson) and closeted lesbian Lucasta (Amy Ferguson)—when she's not secretly cutting herself in the shower at night. The conflict is complicated by Fernanda's blossoming affair with Gio (Tom Everett Scott), an older man with a new wife and baby who loves listening to vinyl records, though this Juno-photocopied dynamic is here defined not by insufferable quirk but by a precious twinkling soundtrack that makes the action seem as if it were taking place inside a music box. From hairstyles and clothes to autumnal-hued cinematography and a raft of clichéd incidents involving pills, suicide, sneaking out, and blackmail, everything feels dainty to the point of stale. For sheer clumsiness, however, nothing tops the sight of school staffers Amy Sedaris and Chris Kattan trying to have sex via Viagra in something called the "cricket stance."
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