Review: ‘In Bloom’

Profoundly confusing "In Bloom" arrives at some very tenuous moral conclusions that might alienate much of its supposed target audience.

A femme-centric drama about the aftermath of a high school massacre, profoundly confusing “In Bloom” arrives at some very tenuous moral conclusions that might alienate much of its supposed target audience. A car wreck dissolves into a butterfly; a broken bathroom pipe provides a rain shower during a murder scene; millions of computer-generated spores dance through the suburban Connecticut air, suggesting spring and the cycles of life. Magnolia pickup would appear to be bona fide Lifetime fodder, if not for the bewildering, ersatz magic-realist conclusion that eventually turns the whole movie into an anti-abortion parable.

Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood both play Diana, the former as a semi-catatonic wife and mother, and the latter as a wild, loose, Chloe Sevigny-inspired teenager. Diana survived a shooting that killed a number of students, including her best friend Maureen (Eva Amurri). She’s never gotten over it, or the abortion she had in high school. That the two events should be tied together so untidily is a problem shared by the book and the movie, in which helmer Vadim Perelman uses up any good will left over from “House of Sand and Fog.”

In Bloom


A Magnolia Pictures release (in North America) of a 2929 presentation. Produced by Vadim Perelman, Aimee Peyronnet, Anthony Katagas. Executive producers, Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban, Marc Butan. Co-producers, Chase Bailey, Couper Samuelson, Mike Upton, Ian McGloin. Directed by Vadim Perelman. Screenplay, Emil Stern, based on the book by Laura Kasischke.


Camera (color), Pawel Edelman; editor, David Baxter; music, James Horner; production designer, Maia Javan; costume designer, Hala Bahmnet. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Special Presentations), Sept. 9, 2007. Running time: 90 MIN.


Uma Thurman, Evan Rachael Wood, Eva Amurri, Oscar Isaac.

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