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      The Young Kieslowski

      R Released Jul 24, 2015 1 hr. 34 min. Comedy Drama Romance List
      56% 9 Reviews Tomatometer 76% 100+ Ratings Audience Score A college student (Haley Lu Richardson) becomes pregnant with twins following a one-night stand with a fellow virgin (Ryan Malgarini). Read More Read Less

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      The Young Kieslowski

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member Super sexist. Brian treats Leslie like garbage and she forgives him anyway. I was frustrated during the entire film. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review Audience Member How do we miss a movie like The Young Kieslowski? Is it the glut of billion dollar superhero films or the massive cinematic universes that have now planned out every theater dollar we will spend for the next century? I'm not sure (I'm totally sure actually, fuck you Disney and Warner Brothers for ruining film) but someone dropped the ball with this movie. Sure, as Slant Magazine so dismissively and disdainfully put it, this movie is about a "white...male" and sure Sanga certainly opts to gloss over certain avenues this narrative could have taken but as the film wraps up, we get the sense that was the point. The Young Kieslowski is about the young Kieslowski. We have our Juno, our Bella and our completely female-centric Grandma but where is the movie about the douchey, half matured, privileged white guy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some idiotic male rights activist with a cross to burn but I actually feel like the white male has gotten to duck out of the recent spat of unplanned pregnancy movies. I think there's a place to cross examine the male fight or flight reaction to this sort of thing, to critique and breakdown the allowances that make it easier for your average privileged white male to step away from these situations so easily. What I like about The Young Kieslowski is that he is privileged. He gets to walk away, to think about it and we get to see that although this guy isn't a villain (let's not get ahead of ourselves ladies), he isn't a good guy either and he progressively digs himself deeper into that hole with every decision he makes. We actually get to walk through how that whole good guy shtick is a bit of his own delusion, a bit of pre-sex bravado, a bit of heart and largely a product that doesn't last long under pressure. Having been through some of this before, I can say that the conversations in his head aren't unrealistic. Any guy faced with a future changing turn of events has had the same thoughts, wrestled with the same demons and considered the same outs. The Young Kieslowski isn't an excuse, it's an admission of guilt by a male, a rarity in a culture where feminists increasingly want to blame males while simultaneously keeping the narrative off any male interested in actually taking on that blame and using it to self examine. In that sense, The Young Kieslowski is a focused movie, one that somewhat neglects several female paths in order to keep a tight, short running and minimalist focus on the task at hand. But don't let the pundits fool you, the movie doesn't completely neglect the entirety of the female path so much as take some new angles on it. Unlike most recent films, which want to portray the female as a savage little liberal with full acceptance of abortion and a general disdain for men and families, The Young Kieslowski chooses a different (and perhaps more realistic considering the educational gaps in the upbringing) route, opting to paint Richardson's Leslie Mallard as a struggling, home-schooled Christian who struggles socially and lacks the practical life skills to properly navigate the sexual corridors of college. Over the course of the film, Richardson's character actually gains agency, detaching herself from her upbringing and beginning to form her own beliefs even as she successfully jettisons Kieslowski and becomes independent of her father. It isn't the focus of the film but it's empowering nonetheless and while the starting point probably rubbed liberals the wrong way, as someone who comes from that background, I have to say that the struggle Sanga presents is real. Children from that upbringing go through this beat during every 18th birthday and it's refreshing to see a lighthearted but serious critique of downfalls of that lifestyle, especially when it meets the real world. The interplay as a whole is all a bit more humorous and quirky than it could have been (intentionally however, as this movie never had its sights set on being the deepest movie in the bin) but Sanga does have a bit more nuance to skillfully add to the narrative. In the debate regarding unplanned pregnancy, we don't often see much of a trickle down look beyond the parents proper. Even Juno, the hallmark for this type of film, mostly neglects the families of the parents, choosing to focus on the two young protagonists. The Young Kieslowski takes a different approach, effectively playing Haley Lu Richardson's non-existent but religious mother and her strictly practical militaristic father off Malgarini's dying mother and quirky father, who create moments of contrast that effectively present various parental views on how to best serve a child in need while still allowing them to transition into an adult. This is also a moment for Sanga to lightheartedly play off opposing moral, philosophical and religious views, effectively showcasing how the religious pressure for perfection, appearances and devotion to the faith plays off against the practical, economical atheistic approach, which are both in turn moderated by the middle ground presented by Kieslowski's parents, who have liberal sensibilities but hold life in a different regard due to the mother's terminal cancer. It's a complex and deeply emotional interplay and it's one that Sanga manages to spin quickly (this movie is a speedy 94 minutes) and deeply, creating moments of incredible emotion while still managing to keep this movie a romantic comedy of sorts (this movie isn't designed to be a tough watch, although it could have been). Richardson and Malgarini share powerful interlocking moments while reflections on the impending death of Kieslowski's mother are truly heartrending. And this is a good time to hit on the performances here. Everyone is minimalist. There are no grand shots with everything mostly confined to very intimate conversation but the results are pretty incredible. Seeing the poster for this film, it's hard to imagine that Richardson and Malgarini are going to be able to run the gambit from rom-com to drama when necessary but they do and they can. Malgarini delivers wry thoughtfulness as he contemplates his own assholery. Richardson has mastered a pensive, wistful expression that takes her character from bright eyed to impossible to look away from in a second. The parental supporting cast is spot on as well, with the Melora Walters in particular shining as she carefully treads between death and motherhood with a grace not often seen in movies dealing with terminal illness. In short, The Young Kieslowski is a deeply nuanced examination of unplanned pregnancy from both the male perspective but also from the perspective of competing ideologies. It's a movie about upbringing, about the interplay of family and most importantly, about the dark side of male growth and maturity. Kieslowski is lighthearted but he has something to say about why males tend to cut and run, as well as the mechanisms that enable them to do so. The movie is fun but powerful, exhibiting a moving sense of realism in regards to its primary topic but also the issues of male responsibility, motivations and response to death and loss. The Young Kieslowski is worth seeing again and again, especially since we all missed it the first time around. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member taking responsibility of your young and careless decisions Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Look at the picture to the left. Looks like a really dumb sit com doesn't it? Instead it is a really sensitive and thoughtful exploration of a developing relationship between two young people who are still developing their understanding of what they are looking for in life, and how to relate to one another, and what their families mean to them. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Audience Member One of my favorite films at L.A. Film Festival this year was 'The Well' and so I'm glad to see the star of that film, Haley Lu Richardson, again in another film this season titled THE YOUNG KIESLOWSKI. I think Haley is a revelation and in this dramedy, she's proven herself once more. THE YOUNG KIESLOWSKI has the emotional tug and quirkiness of 'Juno' and the problems with choices and options of 'Obvious Child'. It's an emotionally powerful little film about what it means to be there for someone. The story is boy meets girl, boy gets girl pregnant, boy says he's in to support her, kinda sorta, and girl doesn't know exactly where the boy stands. It's not Judd Apatow's 'Knocked Up', that's for sure, there's no Seth Rogen or Katherine Heigl or potty raunchy frat jokes in this film. In fact, the character Brian Kieslowski, played by Ryan Malgarini is your text book nerd, smart, with a promising future, and the same goes for the girl, Leslie Mallard, played by the rising star, Haley Lu Richardson. But while Ryan is sexually frustrated, just like most nerds are, Leslie faces your typical teen conflict, uncertain about the support she's getting from her Christian group, trying to find a place where she can belong, and with a headstrong father who does make good points but have a repelling way of addressing them. Long story short, Brian and Leslie have on night stand, Leslie gets pregnant with twins and the rest is a journey of finding out whether this story end up hopeful or uncertain. Stories like this hit close to home for me because I do have a family member who happened to have a child at such a young age and she's still figuring out what to do with her future. So what writer/director Kerem Sanga has crafted is not anything that's far-fetched or doesn't make light of the situation, a lot of people can relate to TH EYOUNG KIESLOWSKI. This dramedy is well-balanced, well-structured, and Sanga knows exactly what each character is contemplating or struggling through. That fear that comes with not knowing whether or not you are ready for such a huge responsibility, that's the underlying theme of THE YOUNG KIESLOWSKI and it's done in such a fantastic manner, that you can't help but feel for even the headstrong father, because you Sanga wrote it in such a way in which you can understand where everyone's coming from, every argument, every dialogue, every second-guessing and hesitation is justified, that's how solid this little movie is. It even quotes Hamlet and appropriately applies it to the matter at hand. THE YOUNG KIESLOWSKI is not preachy, it never means to tell you to go one way or the other, it's just letting you know that these things aren't easy and what the people involved really need from you in times like these. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member Another effort to explain how difficult it is to be a young, white, smart, non-disfigured, upper-middle-class male. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

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      Michael Rechtshaffen Los Angeles Times The film taps into some genuine, relatable truths lurking beneath all that try-too-hard quirkiness. Jul 23, 2015 Full Review Stephen Holden New York Times A story that you half-expect to turn into a melodrama stays true to the sensibilities of its immature, painfully sincere characters, who are faced with life-changing decisions. Jul 23, 2015 Full Review Justin Lowe Hollywood Reporter Kerem Sanga's The Young Kieslowski is a teen pregnancy comedy that suggests the nimble dialogue and plotting of Juno from a male perspective, minus the excessive self-regard. Jul 20, 2015 Full Review Charlie Schmidlin The Playlist There's a charmer in here that's a fake-out of the most welcome kind. Rated: B+ Sep 8, 2015 Full Review Amanda Nojadera Common Sense Media Frustrating teen pregnancy comedy takes male perspective. Rated: 2/5 Jul 31, 2015 Full Review Bob Strauss Los Angeles Daily News Richardson lends a kaleidoscopic sense of human reality to what is occasionally a sitcom-glib attempt to make an R-rated afterschool special. Jul 20, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A college student (Haley Lu Richardson) becomes pregnant with twins following a one-night stand with a fellow virgin (Ryan Malgarini).
      Kirun Sanga
      Executive Producer
      Ben Ross, Ross Christiansen, Chris Colbert
      Kirun Sanga
      Mance Media
      R (Brief Strong Language|Sexuality|Drug Use)
      Comedy, Drama, Romance
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jul 24, 2015, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Dec 5, 2016
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