There’s definitely something going on with Phoebe, and the compulsive cursing and spitting is only half of it. In addition to all the usual problems that a young schoolgirl has to face, Phoebe often can’t control her own lewd actions. The only place where she doesn’t feel she has to do and say bad things, is in the enchanted world of Miss Dodger’s drama class, where she plays the lead in Alice in Wonderland.

Phoebe’s parents, both self-absorbed academic scholars, get increasingly worried when her erratic behavior causes trouble at school. As her life is taken over by involuntary and destructive rituals, she starts to slip through the cracks of the real world, into a wonderland of her own.

Feature debutant Daniel Barnz creates extravagant imagery, with influences ranging from Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander to the photos of David LaChapelle. Meanwhile, the face of young lead actress Elle Fanning dominates the screen, conveying a thespian tour de force of shifting moods and emotions.

Phoebe in Wonderland poster
Title
Phoebe in Wonderland
Director
Daniel Barnz
Country
USA
Length
96 min
Festival
2008
Section
American Independents
Language
English
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2008
Cast
Elle Fanning, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Pullman
Producer
Ben Barnz, Lynette Howell
Script
Daniel Barnz
Music
Christophe Beck

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