Never Rarely Sometimes Always Shines a Light Sensitive Issues

Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Sidney Flanigan appears in Never Rarely Sometimes Always by Eliza Hittman, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

With a name that doesn’t roll right off the tongue and a premise that doesn’t seem to be one that will pull in audiences, does Never Rarely Sometimes Always have a place with the blockbuster movies or is it one that will fade into the ether? That is a hard to answer question, while the name itself is hard to get through, until you understand it in context the movie itself doesn’t ring as one that had a huge Hollywood budget or one that would draw a huge audience. Like many other Focus Feature films, the movie is more an art piece than a blockbuster in general, but it isn’t just a movie that you’ll watch for the big stars or scenery – instead it has a strong message that may bring you back.

I’m not going to lie, there were a few moments while watching Never Rarely Sometimes Always that I almost turned it off. It was brutal, there were thing I didn’t want to see. And that rawness, and the brutal moments that make it real.

The movie focuses around Autumn, a girl being raised in a neglectful home, in a small town where that seems that is the norm. Finding out she is pregnant, she finds herself with a choice of what to do with the pregnancy and what she wants out of her life. With the help of her cousin Skylar, they cross state lines to make the hard decision she has to.

Throughout the movie, both Autumn and Skylar are put in situations where they don’t want to be. Where them, being young girls, are considered commodities or there for male consumption. They deal with the abuse, or the unwanted attention and touching just to make it through and help support each other through it. While these scenes are hard to watch, they are relate-able to most girls who have experienced several situations similar to the one that both of the girls have.

With a topic of teen pregnancy, neglect, abortion and unwanted sexual advances, Never Rarely Sometimes Always tackles a lot of different tough topics all at once. And as unfortunate as it sounds, this is the reality for a lot of young girls and is one that should be talked about more. There were times I absolutely hated the movie, and didn’t think I would be able to finish watching it. But the story, the raw emotions and actual topics are ones that are important and made it worth watching.

About Never Rarely Sometimes Always:

Written and directed by Eliza Hittman, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS is an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) and her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder) embark across state lines to New York City on a fraught journey of friendship, bravery and compassion.


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