Blue Car

Director: Karen Moncrieff
Year: 2002
Country: USA
Running time: 96 mins
USA

Screenplay: Karen Moncrieff
Photography: Rob Sweeney
Editor: Toby Yates
Music: Stuart Spencer-Nash
With: David Strathairn, Agnes Bruckner, Margaret Colin

Festivals: Sundance, Toronto, London 2002
Blue Car, an independently made film about becoming a real artist, is at the same time a thrilling example of what it feels like to encounter a real artist at the start of her career… A memory of the automobile in which a father drove away from his family provides the title, but no hint of the power of writer-director Karen Moncrieff’s superb feature debut. That blue is the kind of detail Mr Auster (David Strathairn), a married high school English teacher, encourages his talented 18-year-old student Meg (Agnes Bruckner) to develop in order to deepen as a poet… It’s high praise to compare Moncrieff with the dazzling Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (Morvern Callar). Each has a knockout storytelling voice and works with a raw, innately feminine strength that scrubs away the soapy film from sad sagas. The bond between Meg and Auster is a marvel of believable complication; Strathairn’s portrayal of a flawed man is so moving and Bruckner’s Meg so painfully true – a breakthrough performance – that thoughts of Lolita are left far behind.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly