Drew Barrymore wins early raves for directing debut

Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:39pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

TORONTO (Reuters) - Some people seem to have all the luck. Include in that group actress, producer and now director, Drew Barrymore.

But having luck and doing something with it are two different things, and as early reviews trickle in for Barrymore's directorial debut, girl power flick "Whip It," it seems the offspring of a Hollywood legend has found a new career.

"Whip It," a tale of one young woman defying her mother's wish of beauty pageant stardom for the rough-and-tumble sport of roller derby, debuted Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival, and by Monday was being called a "remarkable debut" by show business newspaper The Hollywood Reporter.

Variety said the movie was "a gas" and Screen International weighed in with "Drew Barrymore seems less concerned with crafting a riveting cinematic experience as she is in creating a good time. On that criterion, she has succeeded."

A girl -- or boy -- could do a lot worse.

"I was so impressed with her as a director because she knew what she wanted to see. She really had a strong visual sense of the movie," said Juliette Lewis, who portrays the hard-charging Iron Maven skater on the Holy Rollers team in "Whip It."

"I really feel like I was making the first movie of a young filmmaker," said Lewis.

Barrymore, of course, is the daughter of John Drew Barrymore, who was the son of acting legend John Barrymore -- the brother of Lionel Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore.   Continued...

<p>Director and cast member Drew Barrymore poses at the conclusion of a news conference for "Whip It" during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival on September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>