Ah, another coming of age film. These ones are so relatable, in some sense, and so common as well. Moving on, our film is about a teen girl named Bernice (Taylor Hickson), who is not very well accepted among her peers. Family life isn’t easy either and by now, you’ve probably figured she’s going through that period of time where everything in her life sucks. We’ve all been there. She gets bullied, her mother, Bean is not making much money while studying a college course, and her biological father Albert aka Fathead (Ryan Patrick Walsh) recently died. The service doesn’t go quite well when some of her father’s friends from out of town come by to reminisce about their fallen comrade, and Bernice learns more about her father then she ever knew making her feel a stronger connection than usual. She figures out most of those through a journal she finds among her father’s belongings. So Bernice decides to head into a town and get on the hunt for her father’s friends who just might have happened to steal her father’s ashes. His closest friend was a punk biker who goes by the name of Pignut (Joel Thomas Hynes), so that’s who she hunts for. But going out to the city is not easy. Obstacles she comes across are a perverted bus driver, unfriendly citizens, and no place to sleep for the night. Eventually she gets to meet Pignut and the squatters her father once bonded with. She manages to become close friends with a female squatter named Maggie (Bridget Wareham) As Bernice slowly reads Pignut’s journal and gets to knowing the squatters, we are treated to flashbacks of her father hanging out with Pignut at bars and other places. Bernice’s mother on the other hand, goes searching for her daughter with Bernice’s best friend Sinead (Jamie Silken Pendelton Merrigan) when she learns of the mysterious disappearance.
Normally, most coming-of-age films I’ve seen have minimal plot and frequent cutaways and unresolved endings. This one has a much clearer plot though, in simplistic nature showing the life of a squatter with its frequent downfalls. Acting is very well done and you get a really good vibe from watching the performances. The characters played are all in a unique nature with characteristics of many a variety. Emotions range from crazy angry to remorse and misery giving a lot of leverage. All teenagers have had a rocky lifestyle. Looking back on mine- Actually, I DON’T look back. Though I will admit it wasn’t as chaotic as this. Kind of wish it was quite as adventurous though. This film is a crazy blend of narcotics, sleazy living, and feelings that bring people close together.
Be sure to check out Darren’s interview with the director.
Image Courtesy of Aerevision on Morguefile