An American Rhapsody

Rated 2.0 Writer-director Eva Gardos was left behind as an infant when her parents fled the harsh Communist rule of Hungary, spent her first six years living behind the Iron Curtain and was reunited with her biological kin in California. Her autobiographical film about culture shock, guilt, oppression, freedom and family dynamics doesn’t firmly wrap its arms around its characters or core mother-daughter conflicts. Its complexity and provocative nuances feel too manicured and rushed, especially during the film’s crucial final act. This episodic, marginally stirring story about relocation, reunion and self-discovery develops gaping holes as a decade and a half of volcanic events and relationships is molded into a 106-minute movie. The cast includes Nastassja Kinski, Tony Goldwyn, Kelly Endresz Banlaki, and Ghost World’s Scarlett Johansson.