"Lust, drugs and violence... no place for a kid. "
Based on a true story by writer/ director Lori Petty, 'The Poker House' is set in a poor, small town in Iowa, circa 1976. This is a day-in-the life, coming-of-age story about a young Ms. Petty played by stunning newcomer, Jennifer Lawrence. She shares her life with her two little sisters, (Sophia Bairley and Chloe Grace Moretz) and their drug-addicted, abused mother (Selma Blair) living in, and with the power of a child's heart, surviving,'The Poker House'.
My original reason for getting the film was Chloe Moretz ([REL] ROOM 6 - (2OO6), [REL] The Third Nail (2008), and Kick-Ass (2009)) who was ~10 when she filmed this. The oldest sister is the central focus of the film, the two younger sisters have ~15% screentime each, but all three have their moments. Because this film is based on the director's life, much of it is scenes exploring that life and her family rather than pure plot.The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as Agnes, a smart and self-aware teenager who reluctantly presides over the decrepit abode where her addict-whore mother Sarah (Selma Blair) and two younger sisters Bee (Sophia Bairley) and Cammie (Chloe Moretz) live. Waking on the morning of the biggest game of her high school basketball career, Agnes goes through the motions of her daily routine, which means rousing whoever Sarah bedded the previous evening, rolling newspapers for Bee's local route, and flirting with Sarah's pimp Duval (Bokeem Woodbine), who shows an unhealthy interest in the minor. But as the day unwinds, she discovers that even her resignation and preternatural maturity are not enough to prepare her when she finds herself caught between the innocence and optimism of childhood and the dangerous realities of the adult world.
My only complaint is that the oldest sister is supposed to be 14 but is played by a 17 year old actress, I would have liked it if they could have cast a girl who was more believably 14 (to me, at least). Despite that I liked the film, and Chloe was nice to see in it.
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