An understated slap in the face to pedophilic American teen-dream cinema, Blue Car is about 18-year-old Meg (Agnes Bruckner), a gifted latchkey kid whose search for love and a fledgling identity leads her to discover that adults are as self-destructively flawed as her self-mutilating sister. With a overworked bipolar mom (Margaret Colin) and a father long-gone via the title vehicle, Meg turns to poetry. But she's no ditsy Jewel--a fact not lost on Mr. Auster (David Strathairn), her too empathetic English teacher. As Meg's family hits serious crisis mode, Auster invites her to a poetry competition in Florida that could save the wrecked Meg or scar both their lives permanently. Strathairn gives his latent Humbert Humbert identifiable shadings that ruin easy judgments. Bruckner is superb, first-time director Karen Moncrieff is even better, and neither is acquainted with the idiot teen consumables of Planet Hollywood.