This film was by far, the best of the 3 features of the Sundance Film Festival London 2020, although you can’t compare the real life, “fly on the wall” documentary Boys State to this film, as it was absolutely brilliant in it’s own right.
In a nutshell, this film is a combination of a ‘coming of age’ and a ‘coming out’ film.
It’s 1973, we meet 18yr old Beth ( Sophia Ellis) who lives with her family in a Southern rural town, USA, we see her relationships with her siblings, parents and in particular her mysterious uncle, Uncle Frank (Paul Bettany) who is a literature professor at New York University.
Life gets exciting for Beth, when she travels to New York to attend New York University as a student alongside her favourite uncle, who tells her that this is a fresh start and that she can be “anyone she wants to be”.
We watch as Beth learns more about her beloved uncle’s life and has her own life lessons to learn along the way.
Here’s the trailer….
Beth is a lovely girl who seemed different to her immediate family, especially her siblings, who seem rather content with their lives, Beth is dreaming of another life, another persona, another world, so I was excited for her to get a chance to experience the ‘Big Apple’ at the tender age of 18.
Frank is also a likeable character who seems to be bullied by brother, and seemed not to have a close relationship with his siblings or parents, but I put that down to him living and working so far away in New York.
The story develops at a good pace, not too fast or too slow, but enough to keep you glued to the screen.
I have to admit it took me a while to get to grips with the strong southern American accent in the opening scenes but I adjusted (or it got easier) pretty quickly as the film progressed.
This film has some really heart-breaking scenes as well as some funny and amusing ones, and I loved that the characters were believable and the story so realistic.
It explores the ideas of living your life for yourself or others, love, family and the pressures that each of those bring to us individually in our various circumstances.
Brilliantly written and directed by the talented Alan Ball, this film definitely leaves you thinkijng about your own life and decisions and is definitely worth watching when it comes out in November 2020 on Amazon Prime.
Thanks for reading,