2015 Blind Spot Series: Welcome To The Dollhouse


What I knew going in: I had seen clips of this on IFC's Indie Sex documentary.

Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo) is an awkward 7th grader who is severely bullied at school and neglected at home in favor of her smarter older brother and her perfect little sister. She has no clue how to act in social situations, so when some people are kind to her, her anger gets the best of her and she lashes out. She's so desperate for attention that she latches on to any boy that will say more than a few words to her. 

Being a lover of independent films, I know this is one I probably should've seen awhile ago. It's frequently talked about and has almost somewhat of a cult following. This is a role that Matarazzo will known for the rest of her life for playing. No one could've played Dawn like she did. 

As for living up to indie level hype? I'm a bit torn on a few things. While Junior High is quite literally the worst, I was a bit distracted by some of the things that went on here. They were almost too over the top. Dawn's locker graffiti being left up all year long, the entire class chanting "wiener dog" at her during an assembly without any teachers doing a single thing. I'm sure variations of these things happen, but it brought me out of the moment a bit. I know the film is technically a dark comedy, but that's never the feel I got from it. I always felt like it was quite tragic. 

That being said, the good far outweighs the bad. I liked the performances, the "angry" music that played off and on to transition scenes. Melissa Toth, the costume designer honestly should've gotten an Oscar nomination based on Dawn's attire alone. She's criminally underrated for her work. There's a sequel of sorts in post production right now, though Matarazzo won't reprise Dawn. (She feels that playing her again would soil the ending of this film.) So Greta Gerwig will step in instead. I'm not sure how to feel about that.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Why do you hate me?" Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo)

11 comments:

  1. Don't remember hearing abiut this one. I'm really intrigued after reading the comments of the lead actress not reprising her role because she doesn't want to detract from it. That's an admirable thing to do. Now I want to see what it is she doesn't want to spoil. Great post!

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    1. Thanks! It's a very unique choice. It seems most would reprise, even if it's just so another person doesn't play they're role. I guess with the new film coming out, they're doing to have to do a bit of ret-conning.

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  2. It's been a long time since I've seen it and yeah, it's a film I'm not sure I want to see again as it felt very real as I was coming into high school when it first came out.

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    1. I think I would've been slightly traumatized if I had watched this right before I went into Jr High.

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  3. I haven't seen this one.

    I feel shamed.

    SHAMED!

    Now, I obviously can't make an educated comment with regards to the sequel...but I'm always on board with more Gerwig.

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    1. lol well until a few weeks ago I hadn't either, so no shame here.

      This one with Gerwig is actually the second sequel. There was another one called Palindromes that started with Dawn's funeral, so I'm guessing we're retconning now. lol

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  4. I have yet to watch this one, but have heard good things about it. Great review!

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  5. All in all I liked this movie, Yeah you are right that the teachers would have done something to stop the kids from all calling her name at the pep rally. Yet She is basically all alone where no one is helping her out. I think Dawn is as much a hero in this as she is a villain. Glad you liked it

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    1. That's true. She has nasty qualities to her, but they're forced on her because of the way she's treated. She's interesting for sure.

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  6. I haven't seen this, but a sequel with Gerwig stepping in sounds interesting. I might have to check this one out.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.