Summer Movie Reviews: Mel Gibson, Jessica Alba, and Harper Lee on the Valley’s Silver Screen

Mel Gibson’s The Beaver, Jessica Alba’s An Invisible Sign, and Mary Murphy’s biopic Hey Boo, about To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee, all have ties to the Hudson Valley

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jessica alba in an invisible sign

The next local sighting comes in a movie that’s also about a family coping with mental illness: An Invisible Sign. Never heard of it? That’s because the theatrical release is teeny-tiny: It’s only playing once a day at the IFC Center in New York City. But that doesn’t mean you have to head to the Metro-North to check it out: The film’s also available in OnDemand — an option you might want to explore, because these reviews make it seem like it might be better for a rental than a full-price theatrical ticket.

The book is based on Aimee Bender’s fantastic novel, An Invisible Sign of My Own, about a girl (Mona, played by Jessica Alba) who retreats into the world of mathematics as a way of coping with her father’s sudden mental illness diagnosis. She develops obsessions and compulsions of her own, and struggles with managing them as she starts a new job teaching math to elementary school kids.

All of these mental quirks sure make it hard to flirt with the cute science teacher, though they go on a semi-sorta-kinda date together to... the Tarrytown Music Hall, of course! The date is a disaster and Mona ends up running away, but it does make for a nice scene of her sprinting down the streets of Tarrytown.

» Read reviews of An Invisible Sign starring Jessica Alba

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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY

Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at, where she is a staff writer.



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