Stockholm Pennsylvania (2015 Lifetime)

Saoirse Ronan in a Lifetime movie? Sure, okay!

Stockholm Pennsylvania (2015 Lifetime)

Cast:  Saoirse RonanCynthia NixonJason Isaacs

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

A young woman, kidnapped when she was a child, returns home to the family she barely remembers and struggles to feel at home.

Thoughts

Twentysomething, Leia is returned home in a media circus to her family. Marcy and Glen are left with a daughter. They barely know her anymore; she was kidnapped as a child and doesn’t remember the home that she is returned. They look through old photos, and Leia struggles to remember her past; her room is entirely unchanged and is that of a four-year-old child. 

At dinner, they celebrate the miracle of being together, even if Leia has strange rituals and beliefs taught to her by her kidnapper. Marcy and Glen struggle to come to terms with the fact that Leia is not their little girl. Marcy tells memories of childbirth, and Glen jumps in, making Leia feel isolated.

Leia is put into therapy and is very noncommital and suspicious. She doesn’t want to give up information that will be used against Ben, her kidnapper. The movie flashes back to Ben brainwashing Leia.  

Marcy walks up and can’t find her daughter. She freaks out and frantically searches around the house and finds Leia outside. She takes her to get an ID. Leia is surprised to learn she has a middle name.

As Leia tries to cook in the kitchen, Marcy realizes that her daughter has never used a toaster. Marcy asks if she ever used the kitchen in the house she grew up in or locked in the basement. Leia explains that she didn’t know it was a basement. It was where she lived. Leia also never has seen outside, and her only window to the outside world was through a Viewmaster.

Marcy works to develop a relationship with Leia and fails. They sort rocks together, buys her a dog, and attempts to do trust falls. None of them connect the two because Leia is still connected to Ben. She thinks she is nothing without him. Marcy decides to hire a tutor to teach her things she doesn’t know.

Leia runs away to visits Ben in prison and asks him if he knew he was changing things about her life. She also shares that she doesn’t know how to do anything. Leia tells him that she doesn’t know what is worse. Living life with only him or living a life without him. Then she wanders around town and leaves her ID on a bus. When she comes back, Marcy demands to know where she was, and they get into an argument because Marcy found pictures of Ben under Leia’s mattress. 

Marcy and Leia do attachment therapy. They continue doing trust falls and making compromises. Marcy spends all her time trying to rehabilitate her daughter, locks her in her room, and separates from Glenn. (He thinks she is too extreme.) Glenn calls the therapist who makes a house visit. The therapist can tell something is off with Marcy and asks Marcy to bring Leia to her office.

Leia is coached on how to answer by Marcy. In the session, Leia tells the therapist that she doesn’t know how to feel about anything. Leia asks her mother if people show love by locking them into rooms. She honestly doesn’t know. It is sad. 

What is sadder is that Leia and Marcy are tied together to force some connection. Marcy gives Leia a stationary bike, which is such a metaphor for them both. Leia rides the bike and looks out the window. 

Leia writes on a wall and leaves a note for Marcy. She apologizes for leaving and thanks her for loving her. Leia wants to grow up and be alone. Because when she is alone, she is truly herself, not what others want her to be. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Detective, therapist, Neighbor, 

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Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)

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*Photo Credit: © 2015 Lifetime

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