At one point in Todd Solondz’s Palindromes, a suspected child molester – par for the character course in a Solondz film – laments that people, no matter how hard they try, never really change. That appears to be the case with Solondz himself, a brilliant but sociopathic filmmaker who has officially pushed the envelope beyond his means. The story of a 13-year-old girl (played by eight different actresses) who wants to be a mother comes across, at times, like some kind of masochistic, cartoonish joke – not because it offends, which it surely might do, but because the characters are so astonishingly grating. You’ll pity them, but you’ll also want to beat them over the head with a shovel if it’ll shut them up. No one could be blamed for absolutely hating what they see. But if you want to see a film you never even dreamed of seeing before, this, unquestionably, is it.

DVD Grade: D