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  • Summary: Norman Long is a high school loner, a self-aware and darkly funny teen who’s just trying to handle his daily existence. In the wake of his mother’s sudden death, Norman must now also deal with the reality that his father is starting to lose his battle with stomach cancer. Norman, depressedNorman Long is a high school loner, a self-aware and darkly funny teen who’s just trying to handle his daily existence. In the wake of his mother’s sudden death, Norman must now also deal with the reality that his father is starting to lose his battle with stomach cancer. Norman, depressed and angry, unintentionally gets caught in a lie that he, in fact, has stomach cancer. Soon his complete distortion of the facts spirals out of control. Part coping mechanism, partially as a way to feel closer to his father, and to a certain degree to prepare others for his possible suicide, Norman begins to imitate his father’s debilitating physical symptoms, dramatically affecting his life and the world around him. Emily, a magnetic girl with one of those rare enchanting smiles, gets caught up in Norman’s fabrication and struggles with her deep rooted romantic feelings in the face of Norman’s “impending” death. Ultimately, Norman must confront a burning set of conflicting emotions as he struggles to define his relationship with his father, his love for Emily, and ultimately who he will be as a young man. (AMC Independent) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 19, 2011
    75
    For me, Richard Jenkins is the heart of Norman. How often I've admired him; even in unworthy roles, he has such strength, he never seems the need to try.
  2. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Oct 20, 2011
    70
    Norman may not conquer the box office, but it will certainly be a worthy calling card for its director and its leading man.
  3. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 21, 2011
    70
    The humor is sly and not overplayed either. Typical is the English class with Mr. Angelo (Adam Goldberg) trying to prod his bored students into parsing the difference between satire and irony, which is what the filmmakers are up to as well.
  4. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 21, 2011
    63
    There's a winning emotional truth in the father-son scenes in this Spokane-shot sleeper, directed with skill and sensitivity by Jonathan Segal.
  5. Reviewed by: Joel Brown
    Oct 27, 2011
    63
    Norman gets most of its punch from two terrific performances.
  6. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Oct 19, 2011
    58
    Chances are, Norman would have seemed like a retread whenever it came out, but it does the movie no favors to release it in the shadow of "Terri" and "Submarine," both far more compelling portraits of high-school loners, and both released to DVD in the last few weeks.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Oct 19, 2011
    38
    Alternately maudlin and snarky, Norman just doesn't risk enough, and can be consigned to the status of what the school drama geek would call "some contemporary, obscure, teen-angst thing."

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