Prim schoolteacher Miss Meadows (Katie Holmes) is not entirely what she appears. Well-mannered, sweet, and caring, yes, but underneath the candy-sweet exterior hides the soul of a vigilante, taking it upon herself to right the wrongs in this cruel world by whatever means necessary. Things get complicated, however, when Miss Meadows gets romantically entangled with the town sheriff (James Badge Dale) and her steadfast moral compass is thrown off, begging the question: "Who is the real Miss Meadows and what is she hiding?" Written by
Near bottom of end credits: The Polly Klaas Foundation wishes to thank Katie Holmes, Karen Leigh Hopkins and the producers of "Miss Meadows" for contributing to the Polly Klaas Foundation Artist in Residence Program - Helping Children to Explore and Engage in the Performing Arts. See more »
The publicity of Miss Meadows suggested a female revenge film, in the style of the exploitation cinema, but the reality ended up being less violent and more... artistic? I'm not sure. Instead of emulating films such as Ms. 45 and Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Miss Meadows has more stylistic and thematic similarities with Heathers, sharing an idealized suburban fairytale aesthetic, with characters and situations which are intentionally exaggerated in order to transcend the reality and escape the logic of a thriller. From the first seconds, director and screenwriter Karen Leigh Hopkins establishes this stylized atmosphere, portraying miss Meadows as an innocent girl/woman with clothes evoking the '50s, dancing tap while walking over the streets and talking to squirrels, birds and deers who accompany her. Katie Holmes' performance evokes enough conviction and intensity in order for us to take a vigilante woman whose doubtful mentality doesn't cloud her pure intentions seriously (in this regard, I have to point out the fact that the comparison of Heathers is limited to the visual style and narrative tone, and not to the general quality of the film). The movie God Bless America offered us a more cynical and extreme version of the "suburban vigilante", vicariously fulfilling the fantasies of justice and revenge many people undoubtedly harbor. Miss Meadows takes a similar road, but it's more focused on the main character's twisted psychology, leaving the murders as peripheral details which are necessary to the story, but without exploiting violence as a simple bloody spectacle. This attitude increments the suspense and re-directs our attention to the frequent contradiction between "law" and "justice": What's better for society: limiting itself to punish the guilty ones, or preventing the crimes through more "pro- active" methods? In conclusion, Miss Meadows isn't a great film, and some details of the screenplay feel kinda forced, but I found it quite interesting, and I recommend it mainly because of its solid performances and good emotional endorsement. And besides, this film reminds us of Holmes' talent: her private life darkened her career for a long time, and I wish we keep seeing her in more interesting projects which take advantage of her as an actress, and not as a celebrity.
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