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Parents' Guide to

Tanner Hall

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Uneven coming-of-age drama features sex, drugs, adultery.

Movie R 2011 95 minutes
Tanner Hall Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Great flick! Rooney Mara is awesome!!

I found this film to be quite enjoyable! Rooney Mara shines on screen - such a wonderful actress. I usually find girls' boarding-school type of movies fun yet interesting to watch. Each character has their own unique problems to deal with; including teen rebelling, a suicidal student, an affair, trying to fit in, stressful mother-daughter relationship...etc, a lot of which most people can relate to. Lots of sexual references but nothing over the top - although one quick nude flash of a student trying to hide from a teacher in the shower room. I found some parts quite funny and just all around entertaining coming-of-age film! Looking to buy this one on DVD.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This movie is uneven and unsatisfying. Despite its 2011 release date, Tanner Hall was actually shot in 2009; it's one of those low-budget indie films that makes the film-festival circuit and then lies on a dusty shelf without distribution. That is, until director David Fincher cast Mara as Lisbeth Salander in his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation. Voila, a studio picks up this boarding-school drama and releases it to capitalize on the other movie's buzz. The problem is, of course, that watching Mara in this is a bit jarring after her nuanced work in Fincher's universally acclaimed The Social Network or as fierce and furious Lisbeth. Here, Mara is in total ingenue mode, and while she's fine, we all know at this point that she deserves more.

The movie feels like exactly what it is: a labor of love between two directors who themselves are intimately acquainted with the world of privilege and intimacy that the characters inhabit. Tatiana von Furstenberg is a titled princess and the daughter of fashion designer Diane, and Francesca Gregorini is also a moneyed daughter of aristocracy (and the stepdaughter of Ringo Starr). So although the movie's atmosphere seems just right and the girls are all played by talented actresses, there's no real cohesive thread to the film. The only subplots that grab viewers are straight laced Fernanda's seemingly out-of-character affair with all-too-willing Gio, and, most notably, Lucasta's sexual identity struggles (Ferguson is vulnerable and sweet). Amy Sedaris and Kattan pop up for some comic relief as a sex-starved married couple, but they're so cartoonish (especially Sedaris) that it's hard to take them seriously. All of these loose threads and subplots would have worked in a primetime teen drama, but it doesn't work for a film.

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