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      R Released Oct 21, 2011 1 hr. 37 min. Comedy Drama List
      67% 15 Reviews Tomatometer 58% 500+ Ratings Audience Score A teenager (Dan Byrd) pretends to be dying from cancer as a way to cope with the realities of his daily existence and his father's (Richard Jenkins) terminal illness. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (21) audience reviews
      Audience Member I thought this movie was PHENOMENAL! Norman fights with the internal struggle of releasing and acknowledging his own emotions regarding the death of his mother. To make matters worse, he feels like his Dad is giving up on his own life, leaving him alone. Compounded with the other, more common high-school emotional baggage, Norman feels lost in this world, feeling like no one cares about him because no one (really just his Dad) is "listening" to him. His entire world changes when Emily, a pure ball of feminine-love energy, takes notice of him. You see Norman start feeling her genuine love. She truly cares. Norman's biggest struggle is the fact that he doesn't think people love him for who he is. Emily does. Fast forward to the end, he uncovers to everyone that he is a "fraud" and seemingly proves to himself that people don't care about or understand him. The ending scene is probably the most powerful. Norman finally releases the burden he has put on himself and decides to move forward. We are left hoping Emily is at the door. She is, and he finally lets her in. Powerful, and amazing. Beautiful ending, however, I wouldn't feel right if I didn't admit that I was a little disappointed. I wish the scene had continued just a little bit longer. I long to see the following conversation OR watch as Emily holds him again. Letting him cry as he "lays down his biggest demon" and supporting him as "his person" in this World. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member SPOILERS: Ah, this was so almost a great film. I love how well paced it was and natural and believable and it was really building well and touching on some very emotional points and all the performances were fantastic and heartfelt and genuine, and as it built towards the end it was so tender and beautiful and then, damn! They bodged the ending! After Norman's dad died he needed time, he HAD to go and grieve. There had to be space for him to hide and sulk and think, to let the audience think too. But he went straight to the school theatre and confessed that he didn't have cancer and he just seemed like an arsehole, which meant when Em came back to him at the end it seemed wrong cause he just seemed like an arsehole. What should have happened is that Norman should've went home and locked himself away in his home and grieved. Then, noticing his absence at the speech event, the students would decide to go to his house to show their support and try to get him to come out. And there, he would just think, 'sod it' cause he's so broken, and he'd open his door and just tell everyone. He'd say "Hey everyone, sorry to disappoint you all, but I don't have cancer. I lied. I told James I had cancer cause he was bugging me and I didn't think it would get out but it did and then it kinda snowballed and I couldn't stop it, so there we go. But hey, someone who did have cancer was my Dad and now he's dead. So that's what happened. You can all hate me now." And all the students would be offended and shocked and they'd start to disperse, but there'd be one person left in the crowd, not leaving, and it'd be Em. And THEN, you'd cut to Norman in the house recording the new answering message and then the doorbell would go and it'd be Em, but there'd need to be more words. He'd have to say something like, "you don't hate me?", and she'd shake her head, and then he'd let her in. That would've been a much better ending. Haha, I feel better now for writing that. I think I'll just make believe that all that happened off camera, if I ever watch the film again! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review Audience Member Great acting carries this film that takes on a situation that unfortunately happens/ed in real life. Cancer still sucks... Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member A subtle mix of weird and sad and beautiful, plus an amazing soundtrack. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member perfect chemistry between Dan Byrd & Richard Jenkins. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member While I enjoyed the sweet nature of the love between Normand and Emily I found the story a little bit perverted. A kid that pretends to have terminal cancer while his father dies from the disease is sick. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (15) Critics Reviews
      Joel Brown Boston Globe Byrd and Jenkins earn the film its critical points, but the screenplay has too many moments that feel network-TV-bland. Rated: 2.5/4 Oct 25, 2011 Full Review Andy Webster New York Times There's something sweet about Jonathan Segal's modest high school drama, "Norman," despite the contrivances of its protagonist's predicament and its stacking of the emotional deck. Rated: 3/5 Oct 21, 2011 Full Review Lou Lumenick New York Post There's a winning emotional truth in the father-son scenes in this Spokane-shot sleeper, directed with skill and sensitivity by Jonathan Segal. Rated: 2.5/4 Oct 21, 2011 Full Review Tracy Moore Common Sense Media Affecting drama about terminal illness has mature themes. Rated: 4/5 Jun 3, 2014 Full Review Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine A small film with nicely etched performances, assembled in a way that is consistently engaging and surprising. How many movies can you say that about? Oct 21, 2011 Full Review Nina Mashurova Boston Phoenix The trapped animal look in Norman's eyes feels more and more like an appropriate reaction. Rated: 2/4 Oct 18, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A teenager (Dan Byrd) pretends to be dying from cancer as a way to cope with the realities of his daily existence and his father's (Richard Jenkins) terminal illness.
      Jonathan Segal
      Executive Producer
      Rich Cowan
      Talton Wingate
      AMC Entertainment
      Production Co
      North by Northwest Entertainment
      R (Some Language)
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 21, 2011, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 2, 2017