You might know the wide-eyed, wild-haired actress as Nicky “the hot junky” Nichols on Orange Is the New Black, but before she was locked up, Natasha Lyonne was motoring cross-country with Alan Arkin and Marisa Tomei. During her teen years she starred as Vivian Abromowitz in Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), the pubescent, wise-cracking heart of a penniless, nomadic, and often direly embarrassing family. A box-office flop when first released, the working-class, coming-of-age tale is now beginning to solidify as a cult classic and has since gained recognition for what it really is: a top notch female bildungsroman. Playing like a cross between The Wonder Years and My So-Called Life — with a lead who’s way more incredulous than Fred Savage and way more down-to-earth than Clare Danes — this mid-70s period piece is rife with halter-tops, knee socks, shag carpeting, and just a general orange-y glow of California nostalgia. Slums screens tonight as part of the Strong Female Lead series.
Thu., Aug. 7, 9:30 p.m., 2014