Director: Eliza Hittman
Writer: Eliza Hittman (Screenplay)
Starring: Taila Ryder, Sidney Flanigan, Ryan Eggold, Sharon Van Etten
Plot: A pair of teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania travel to New York City to seek out medical help after an unintended pregnancy.
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Never Rarely Sometimes Always starts as we meet high school student Autumn (Flanigan) who finds herself learning that she is pregnant, knowing she won’t get much support out of her family, she turns to a local clinic and the internet for options, looking at her own ways out, before her best friend and cousin Skylar (Ryder) agrees to help her by taking her to New York for a solution, all the way leaving Autumn to make the most difficult decision of her young life.
Thoughts on Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Characters – Autumn is a quiet high school student, working in a grocery store, while not always feeling welcome at home, which becomes more difficult for her when she learns she is pregnant, she doesn’t know who to turn to, trying to solve the problem herself, before her best friend joins her on a journey to find a solution. She is given a decision no one her age should be put through, keeping her own pain inside even from her own cousin and best friend. Skylar is the best friend and cousin, she will support Autumn on her every decision, stick up for her when people might be taking advantage of her and find a way to make sure she gets the help she needs.
Performances – Sidney Flanigan gives us one of the best performances of the year here, she keeps her character grounded, hiding emotions and when things are released, you feel the impact they make on her being able to release the pain. Talia Ryder is excellent in the supporting role, showing the support, while not giving us a role that requires her being overly friendly, knowing the level of support her friend needs.
Story – The story here follows a high school girl that learns she is pregnant and doesn’t know who to turn to, before joining her best friend on a trip to New York to find a solution, without the rest of her family needing to know the truth. This is an excellent story that will show the difficult decisions a teenager might go through with an unplanned pregnancy, showing us how they will want to keep it away from people, do thing they wouldn’t want to, in an attempt to stop it and shows the support is there from strangers who will offer the options and understand the choices. There are some very difficult scenes to watch that show us just how difficult everything is for Autumn and by the end of the film, you will be left broken by her ordeal and decision.
Settings – The film does show us how a small town doesn’t always give the best advice, while the big city will offer the help required to anyone in need of it.
Scene of the Movie – Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always, what an uncomfortable scene.
Final Thoughts – Never Rarely Sometimes Always is one of the films of the year, one that will give us outstanding performances and direction, leaving us broken by the end.