Title – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)
Director – Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love)
Cast – Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder
Plot – Teenage girls and cousins Autumn (Flanigan) and Skylar (Ryder) travel to New York City when Autumn finds out she is pregnant, with the plan to abort the child that Autumn doesn’t feel as though she can tend too.
“Don’t you ever just wish you were a dude?”
Review by Eddie on 31/05/2021
About as far from a feel good movie as you’re likely to find, Never Rarely Sometimes Always is not a film made to cheer its audience up or provide entertainment in the typical sense of the word but Eliza Hittman’s career defining feature is a powerful and quietly spoken drama that deserves plaudits for its raw and uncompromising look at both teen pregnancy and abortion, in what is often considered a taboo subject matter for features.
Starring relatively unknown actresses Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder as cousins and friends Autumn and Skylar, Pennsylvanian natives who must venture to New York City when Autumn becomes pregnant and decides she is not ready to have a child of her own, Always is a road trip movie without any of the laughs or follies that are usually associated with such a narrative and Hittman and her actresses keep the film imbedded in an almost documentary like realism that may sap your energy but keeps you gripped throughout as Autumn’s life changing decision draws closer.
Both Autumn and Skylar don’t make for the most enjoyable of travel companions, both are clearly victims of their not ideal situations and harsh realities of a world in which they are seen as game to the men preying on them at all angles whether it be at school, work or general public and both of the girls have bypassed much in the way of personality but people like these two lost souls exist in the world and Hittman is determined to ensure her film is a warts and all experience for both her characters and her audience members.
Devoid mostly of color or flair, the world of Autumn and Skylar is bleak like their future prospects seem to be but Always finds a heart and soul in allowing these two struggling teenagers to be that, versions of real life people going through real life decisions and situations that we may not always care to think about but are there ever present regardless.
This type of true to life tale is the type of film that should find a place in schools and grown families lounge rooms, its not a film to watch for the pure delight of it but its one that should be talked about and discussed if for nothing more than to consider what life on the other side of the tracks may be like and how people and their situations shape and mold their decisions as they go through this great big world and their individual lives.
Final Say –
A tough film and one that refuses to shy away from its intense subject matter, Never Rarely Sometimes Always is an important little film that tackles some weighty and often unspoken about tales.
3 1/2 luggage bags out of 5