Nearly 14 months after debuting at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Jamie Dack‘s Palm Trees and Power Lines, a fearless film about teenaged sexual vulnerability if I ever saw one, is finally opening commercially.

I saw it on my computer 13 and 1/2 months ago, and raved…well, not actually. My initial review conveyed serious shock at how dark and sinister this film is. A “holy shit” rave.

I plan on seeing it sometime late tomorrow at the Village East Angelika. The reason it look so long to sell is that very few are going to want to sit through this stunning and ghastly film, albeit composed in a masterful fashion.

The Palm Trees review (1.24.22) by Variety’s Owen Gleiberman conveys a pretty good taste. I expect it to do less-than-zero business.”

Hawk Swoops Down, Carries Away Prey,” also posted on 1.24: “Three days ago I stated that Jamie Dack‘s Palm Trees and Power Lines, a Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition entry, is among the festival’s three best films.

“I actually didn’t convey my true, deep-down feelings, which is that in the realm of stories about young girls dealing with predatory relationships and the sexual issues that always come with that, Dack’s film is one of the most shocking and upsetting that I’ve ever seen — period.

“I’ve already reported that it’s about a hugely creepy relationship between a fatherless 17 year-old (Lily McInerney) and a 34 year-old opportunist and latent scumbag (Jonathan Tucker), and that what happens would make any decent person gag. Without divulging specifics I should add that the film contains what I regard as the most odious and grotesque sex scene in motion picture history. And the ending is completely shattering.

“A friend doesn’t believe the ending, which again I can’t be specific about. But I can at least state that each and every dude in this film is either a dog or a beast. We’re talking implications of sexual cruelty, brutality and animality in every scene featuring a male of any age.

“I recently described the plot to a female friend with a 20something daughter, and she said, ‘This is basically how younger Millennials and GenZ see all white cis men…they think they are all rapists and assaulters.”

“I’m not disputing that many if not most younger males (late teens to mid 30s) are animals in terms of their sexual behavior. This view or judgement is certainly out there, so it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world for Dack to share this opinion.

“The shocking part of Palm Trees and Power Lines is the degree to which McInerney’s character is seemingly off-balance and emotionally starved for paternal attention and affection. Because right away you’re wondering how and why McInerney would go out with Tucker in the first place (there are all kinds of red flags). By the end of the film you’re left with an even more perplexing question. I thought McInerney might be safe at the end, and then she does something that made me go “oh my God!”

“You can argue that what she does is not entirely believable, but for me the dramatized horror outweighs the credibility.

Friendo to HE: “I could totally buy that [McInerney] is damaged and would get seduced by this guy’s tricks…all of it. But as the movie portrays it, what she goes through in that motel room is so horrific, and in both that scene and the aftermath she is so filled with fear, that I just thought: The fact that she’s got daddy issues is going to transcend that?

“Her mother” — a good performance by Gretchen Mol — “seemed nice enough, not perfect but loving. Why would she be so alienated from that home situation?”

HE to friendo “I was just slammed by this feeling that a really hurt person will submit to an abuser all over again. The director, I suspect, seems consumed by a certain GenZ loathing for predatory males. She based the original, same-titled short [which came out in 2018] on her own teenaged experience.”

Friendo to HE: “You may be right about the director. And in a strange way, to serve her agenda, she takes away all that girl’s power. Obviously there are a lot of girls who do get drawn into [appalling sexual situations], and that kind of dynamic is part of it, but I just thought that this girl, after undergoing the most horrific experience of her life, developed [a truly bizarre mindset].”

“As to general feelings of hostility among young Millennials and GenZ, they’re off the hook about it. The demonization of men in this culture is becoming epidemic, and we’re all going to pay a huge price for it.”