Beautiful Girls 1996


The late, great Ted Demme was a super director (Blow) and a genuinely nice guy who died before he could really make his mark; working from a script by Scott Rosenberg, he created one of the warmest drams about growing up in Beautiful Girls, which sees pianist Willie (Timothy Hutton) returning to his snowy home-town to meet up with old pals (including Matt Dillon) and reflect on where things went wrong in his life. The inhabitants of Knights Ridge teach Willie a lesson in life, not least teenage neighbour Marty (Natalie Portman) who reminds him why beautiful girls have such a role in his existence. Mira Sorvino and Uma Thurman ensure that Beautiful Girls makes good on its title; a forerunner to Garden State, Demme’s film is smart, melancholic and a welcome slice of introspection in the vein of Five Easy Pieces.


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