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Never Rarely Sometimes Always. 2020. USA. Written and directed by Eliza Hittman. With Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder. Closed captioning available. 101 min.
Aloof, 17, and pregnant in small-town Pennsylvania. Whatever is left unsaid about what has led Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) to this moment, one thing is clear: getting access to an out-of-state abortion while eluding parental oversight will require overcoming hurdles big and small. If South Brooklyn has a twinkling familiarity in Eliza Hittman’s previous films, Manhattan (as lensed by regular collaborator Helen Louvart) becomes a foreboding, unfamiliar place Autumn and her supportive cousin (Talia Ryder) must navigate with nothing more than a clinic address in hand. Thanks to gripping, restrained performances by newcomers Flanigan and Ryder, unspoken words, lingering stares, and clasped hands speak volumes about the small moments of cruelty and silent acts of resilience that make up young women’s journey through the world in search of agency. Hittman’s signature naturalism and intimacy, expressed with tantamount care in scenes filmed at Planned Parenthood, make the film as quietly stirring as it is urgent. Courtesy of Focus Features
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