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Spanking the Monkey 18 rating

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) made his feature debut in 1994 with this biting black comedy, which caused a stir with its incestuous subplot and portrayal of adolescent restlessness.

Comedy 1994 95 mins

Director: David O. Russell

Overview

One of America's most acclaimed contemporary screenwriters and directors, David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) made his feature film debut in 1994 with this biting black comedy, which won The Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and caused a stir with its incestuous subplot and portrayal of adolescent restlessness. The film also displays much of what has become Russell's trademark idiosyncratic, offbeat humour, later seen in Flirting With Disaster, the iconoclastic Three Kings and the existential comedy I Heart Huckabees, marking him as a maverick director with cult appeal.

Looking forward to a prestigious summer internship in Washington, D.C., pre-med college student Raymond (Saving Private Ryan's Jeremy Davies) has his dreams put on hold when he's forced to stay at home caring for his invalid mother (Alberta Watson, The Sweet Hereafter, TV's 24). Constantly harassed by his domineering, travelling salesman father, Raymond struggles to deal with his mother's bed-ridden anxieties and his first, stumbling attempts to romance the naive girl next door.