An original and innovative indie movie says a great deal about living in closed and open societies. With a charming cast and a wry script, “Electrick Children” (an annoying title) gets under your skin, in a good way.
It’s an uncomfortable premise – a 15-year-old girl living within a Utah sect believes she has been made pregnant by a cassette version of “Hanging On The Telephone”.
Jack Lee’s song, originally performed with his group The Nerves, was covered by Blondie and is a classic dance floor filler. Even men who don’t dance tap their toes to this. Here, we get yet another cover, rather than the original or the Blondie version.
So, you’re meant to think baby Jesus and mother Mary miracles? From a new wave classic? Logic may make you think why don’t they just check if she is technically a virgin or not?
But you’ve already suspended disbelief about the young girl living within a closed society having obviously dyed and chemically treated hair, lots of natural look eye makeup and also having form-fitted and perfectly-laundered clothes, even when she is living rough, so what’s a little musical pregnancy?
Julia Garner plays Rachel and she is as impressive as she was in a smallish role in “Martha Marcy May Marlene”. Her innocence and intelligence carry much of the film.
Billy Zane is wonderful as Rachel’s dad, Paul and Cynthia Watros is super as mom. Bill Sage has terrific moments as Tim.
Rory Culkin shows great maturity in his key role as Clyde and his own character’s history reflects the problems Rachel faces.
The last half hour goes a little too far in all its magical coincidences but – hey – by now you have accepted a second virgin birth, so what’s a little synchronicity?
Rebecca Thomas directs and writes and the whole film, This special free screening was for members of Stratford Picturehouse and it kept the audience happy. Everyone seemed to be very involved with it.
Thomas says interesting things about the way in which the Las Vegas musicians are as lost in their open society as the sect members are in their restricted world.
It’s a must see film for those who like a little thoughtfulness in movies. There’s a lovely soundtrack, too. Although I still think Blondie or The Nerves would have provided a better version of “Telephone”.