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Palindromes ★★★ 2004

As if having abortion as his central topic wasn't challenging enough, Solondz raises the art-house ante exponentially by having his protagonist, Aviva, played by eight different actors, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, an African-American woman, and a boy. Thirteen-year-old Aviva dreams of motherhood, but after she's impregnated, her overbearing parents insist she get an abortion. To keep the baby, Aviva runs away, meeting an eccentric cast of characters on the road. Solondz masterfully conducts this postmodern morality play, showing the pitfalls of both sides of the abortion issue until the audience's moral compass is helplessly askew. May be too esoteric for most, but that's half the fun anyway. 100m/C DVD . US Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ellen Barkin, Richard Masur, Debra Monk, Emani Sledge, Valerie Shusterov, Hannah Freiman, Rachel Corr, Will Denton, Shayna Levine, Sharon Wilkins, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Matthew Faber, Steve Singer, Richard Riehle, Robert Agri, John Gemberling, Alexander Brickel, Walter Bobbie; D: Todd Solondz; W: Todd Solondz; C: Tom Richmond; M: Nathan Larson.