Tenderness (101 mins, rated M, opens 30 April 2009), directed by Australian John Polson, of Tropfest fame, and written for the screen by Australian Emil Stern. This is a clever, Hitchcock-style thriller, and it’s also a sensitive character study of a young killer. Tenderness stars Russell Crowe and Laura Dern, but the show is stolen by the still-teenaged newcomer Sophie Traub, who gives a sensitive and nuanced performance as a young girl who’s been used and abused by too many men in her short life. Polson’s film is a thoughtful adaptation of the book of the same name by award-winning American writer, the late Robert Cormier.