Palindromes (2004)

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Avg Rating: 4.3 / 5. Voted: 39

No one cared thus far. Do you?

Directed by: Todd Solondz
Starring: Shayna Levine (Aviva), Sharon Wilkins (‘Mama Sunshine’ Aviva), Jennifer Jason Leigh (‘Mark’ Aviva), Will Denton (‘Huckleberry’ Aviva), Hannah Freiman (‘Henry’ Aviva), Ellen Barkin (Mom), Matthew Faber (Mark)
Country: United States
Language: English (English subs)
Runtime: 01:40:03
Genres: Teensploitation, Misery, Family, Old-Young, Religion

Plot – Spoilers:
Palindromes is sort of related to Welcome to the Dollhouse in that, some of the characters from it appear and are referenced here. Also, Aviva in Palindromes is a cousin of the Wiener kids.

Aviva is a depressed teen who walks around with headphones playing self-esteem lectures. Her mother is emotionally unstable while also wanting the best for her, which makes it hard for Aviva to fight her. The only things Aviva likes about life involve babies and she can’t wait to get one. So when she visits a family friend, she gets into bed with a boy there just to get pregnant. From here, things go further downhill as Aviva finds the little joys that were left being systematically sucked away.

Aviva is played by different actors who physically vary in colour, race, size and even gender. This makes every sequential experience that Aviva goes through, unique and jarring.

Random Thoughts
Why have different actors been used in Palindromes to play the one character of Aviva? The answer probably lies in the little talk Aviva has with Mark towards the end where he tells her that people don’t essentially change. So though you might be different people at different points in your life, they keep interchanging and returning. Also right at the end when Aviva says she has a feeling this time she’s “gonna be a mom”, the version of Aviva that says this is the one we started off with.

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June 29, 2020 1:37 pm

OH MY GOTT, this movie !!
It’s very unique and bizzaro, but still likable, the characters are okay and there are some great scenes (ex : Mama Sunshine’s house segment, love it).
Sure, the change of actors for Aviva is confusing, but you’ll get a hang of it ;^P
The only character I liked is Mark (from “Welcome to the Dollhouse”), but yeah, still a neat little movie, will definitely watch again !!
If you like movies like Happiness (1998), I STRONGLY recommend !! >:^]

August 4, 2020 12:22 am

This movie did my head in. Felt like I was tripping on acid. LOL but enjoyed it all the same even if it is weird as hell.

Matisse Famke
Matisse Famke
March 18, 2021 3:37 am

An aberrant discord that flagellates your cognizance.

April 10, 2021 6:26 pm

amazing film, the acting definitely wasn’t as good as happiness but I loved this one just as much

June 16, 2021 5:24 am

What a great movie! Totally a ride, I dare to say that it’s almost as good as Happiness. But I really wanted to know more about the sunshine’s kids.

August 10, 2021 9:33 pm

Kids are gross and make life harder and way more complicated i’ll Have freedom and money instead thank you very much.

August 31, 2021 12:06 am


Reply to  ???????
August 31, 2021 4:49 am

prosopagnosia the movie

September 4, 2021 5:14 am

At the beginning of the “Henry” scene (11:37) homegirl def has a likely unscripted creepy crawler skittering through her hair and down her back… how has no one else noticed this?

Reply to  amphetaqueen
September 4, 2021 5:20 am

I was hoping someone would mention this, good eye!

error: bad mouse!