The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (3 stars)

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

(15) 78min

An odd, mid-seventies Canadian film with Jodie Foster as the precocious kid who seems to be keeping a few things to herself, and revealing others that don’t quite ring true – not least hat her poet father is working in the study upstairs in the rural house the two of them are renting. Is he really upstairs working on the translation of a Russian poet? The film’s low-key strengths reside not just in Foster’s character being a bit weird, but also the people who come and check up on her or befriend her. None more so than Martin Sheen, a father of two kids whose own behaviour seems a whole lot more suspect than Foster’s.

This low-budget character study directed by Nicholas Gessner, adapted from a novel by Laird Koenig (who wrote the script), never quite achieves the creepiness it seems to aspire to, but it is a skilful enough diversion. Minimal extras.

(Optimum DVD retail)

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