This week’s screenshot is from the influential Todd Solondz black comedy Welcome to The Dollhouse (the working title was ‘Faggots and Retards’). We are given a look into the life of 7th grader Dawn Weiner, as she deals with her adolescent isolation. Never has any character been as unfortunate as Dawn Weiner, or ‘Weiner-dog’ as everyone at school calls her. Dawn’s little sister is perfect, her family ignores her, and every day she is tormented at school. It doesn’t help that Dawn is incredibly awkward; you can’t help but feel sorry for her. When Dawn asks another girl at school why she hates her, the girl replies, “because you’re ugly”. While many believe that Todd Solondz hates his characters, I can’t say I agree. He is simply honest and doesn’t choose the easy, happy ending. I feel this makes him one of the finest modern filmmakers.
By Theo Estes 4/30/2011