The story, adapted from a book by Blake Nelson, takes a look at a dark inciting incident that changes Alex’s life forever.
Van Sant is an acquired taste. His films have an ephemeral quality that can be both lyrical and annoying. He uses Super 8 skate footage to bridge the gaps in the story, but the footage does not advance the story; it mires it.
In a bold move, Van Sant uses the much-maligned MySpace as a force of good instead of evil. The director cast the teens from their profile pages, and the neophyte actors demonstrate a remarkable aptitude. Unfortunately, not enough happens.
Paranoid Park releases in select theaters March 14.