Film & DVD Review: Paranoid Park

  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Writers (WGA): Gus Van Sant (screenplay) Blake Nelson (novel)
  • Certification: Sweden:15 | Canada:14A | Japan:PG-12 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | Brazil:12 | UK:15 | USA:R | Ireland:15A | Finland:K-13 | Taiwan:R-12 (original rating) | Portugal:M/16 | Netherlands:12 | Norway:11 | South Korea:15 Runtime: 85 minReviewed by Anna Erickson

    Skateboarder Alex is like all teenagers, trying to deal with the pains of adolescence, his parents splitting up and the demands of his girlfriend. His only escape is when he skateboards and ends up in the legendry Paranoid Park, a skate park that has become the home of many deadbeats. It is here that Alex meets the people who are about to change his life as he gets involved in a murder.

    The full story does not come to light until the end when the viewer can make sense of it; Gus Van Sant does a wonderful job in trying to confuse the audience so that they never know where they are in the story, with it constantly shifting from the past to the present and back again.

    Alex is played by Gabe Nevins, a native of Portland Oregon where the film is set (and where the director is from) and has never acted before. Rather then this being a negative, the awkwardness of his acting gives a sense of reality to the role of confused teenager. Many of the other parts are also newcomers, some better then others but in all they add to the style of the film.

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