Whip It

No, this post is not an ode to Devo (though I do love that song), but rather a look at the world of roller derby. I attended my first bout the other night and had the opportunity to see Bloomington's Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls win. Afterwards, I was inspired to pick up the feature film Whip It, a look at one teen's coming of age through the roller derby.

Ellen Page (Juno) stars as Bliss Cavendar, a high school student stuck in the small town of Bodeen, Texas, working at "The Oinkery," the local BBQ joint, and cometing in beauty pageants to please her mother. After attending a roller derby bout in nearby Austin, she is invited to try out for the team. Bliss straps on her old Barbie roller skates and, to her suprise, gets picked. As she turns from a small town shy girl to a star derby rookie, she inspires her team to start winning and at the same time gains confidence in herself. Although contemporary, the film feels nostalgic. It features a great cast and great music (sadly, no Devo): in addition to Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, and Juliette Lewis also star. Those interested might check out the novel it was based on, also titled Whip It (formerly known as Derby Girl).