Out of the Blue (Hopper, 1980)

Out of the Blue (Dennis Hopper, 1980)

After watching and liking Tender Mercies, I figured I’d finally see this other film from around the same time period which I assumed to be similar in style. I’m not sure I have ever been so wrong. This is easily the most dysfunctional family ever put on film. As soon as the end credits started to roll, I was convinced it hated it. I’ve seen movies about loneliness, isolation, and troubled childhood, and almost all the others I’ve seen had a much greater emotional impact on me than this. But after thinking it through, I’m almost positive this is a result of Manz’s character (the troubled child in this story) being almost as belligerent and vulgar as her parents. She isn’t presented on the surface as an innocent victim, seeking love and normalcy. Stepping back, though, it’s easy to recognize her facade – the mask she has to wear to cope with her environment. It’s extremely sad, though more of an exaggerated horror story of a domestic hell than an accurate depiction of this type of situation. I can appreciate what Hopper has done here, but it’s not entirely my cup of tea.  7/10

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2 Responses to “Out of the Blue (Hopper, 1980)”

  1. I’m kind of surprised that you rated it this high. Care to justify?

    • A soft spot for Manz’s character, I guess. Like I said, at first I was put off by her character, but as I realized she is no different than the children in other similar movies that break my heart, I found a great amount of sympathy for her.

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