Director – Sean Penn – 2021 – US – Cert. 15 – 109m
A woman struggles to come to terms with her father who is a criminal and a pathological liar – out in cinemas on Friday, January 28th
This at once follows a linear narrative trajectory and doesn’t. On the one level, Jennifer grows into a woman, argues with her parents (with good reason) and attempts to find herself and make her way in the world. On the other level, images and sequences move effortlessly between Jennifer aged six (Addison Tymec), Jennifer as a young teenager (Jadyn Rylee) and the adult Jennifer (Dylan Penn). Sometimes it feels like the adult Jennifer having a flashback, sometimes it seems like we’re one of her younger selves, all very vivid and real. Sometimes it’s memory, sometimes it’s experience.
It’s based on the real life memoir of Jennifer Vogel, who apparently wrote the book trying to sort out her feelings about her unorthodox upbringing.
It starts and (more or less) ends with a line of cop cars pursuing suspect John Vogel (Sean Penn) wanted for counterfeiting. As the images roll over us, there’s a lot of adult Jennifer voice over in the first ten or so minutes (and elsewhere at odd moments in the film).… Read the rest