As our local cinemas are still temporarily closed, this week’s Freeze Frame will concentrate on new movies that can be streamed at home.
“Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always” now available through video on demand platforms like Amazon Prime, is one of those quiet human dramas that critics rave about and general audiences often scratch their heads over. This low-key, hyper-realistic film is a heartbreaking account of an all-too common experience that many teenage girls share.
Newcomer Sidney Flanigan plays Autumn a troubled 17-year-old from a small Pennsylvania town. When she discovers that she’s pregnant, she and her empathetic but naïve cousin Skylar, played by Talia Ryder, embark on a surreptitious
road trip to New York City.
The movie’s low budget approach only enhances its documentary-like realism. Don’t expect catharsis or melodrama, just a series of small, sensitively acted moments.
Regardless of which side you fall on regarding the reproductive rights issue, you can’t help but suffer with this young girl who finds herself in one of the most difficult positions imaginable. Skillfully written and directed by Eliza Hittman, “Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always” probably won’t change anyone’s mind on this sensitive matter, but it serves as a thoughtful portrayal of the sturdy bond of sisterhood.
From the other end of the cinematic cosmos comes “Trolls World Tour,” the first major Hollywood release to completely skip its intended theatrical release to go straight to various video on demand platforms like YouTube, Apple TV and Vudu. In this animated musical sequel, Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return as the voices of Poppy and Branch from the original 2016 movie. They discover that there are other Troll tribes specializing in various musical styles.
The visuals aren’t the only thing that appears to be computer generated. The plot, dialogue and music play like they come from a machine, too. But “Trolls World Tour” is flashy enough to keep the youngsters preoccupied for at least an hour and a half.