“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Metacritic (4/10), Rotten Tomatoes (**)
Is it a story? Or a statement? This indie offering about a pregnant Pennsylvania teen who travels to New York City to obtain an abortion seeks to combine story threads about this controversial subject with an adolescent finding herself over her head on the streets of the big city. Unfortunately, the two don’t mesh well, creating a film that struggles desperately to find its feet. To its credit, director Eliza Hittman’s latest effectively presents a balanced view of this hot button topic and sensitively portrays the fear that an adolescent in this position might experience, thanks in large part to the outstanding lead performance of newcomer Sidney Flanigan. However, the film’s unfocused intent, sometimes-sluggish pacing, obvious thematic allusions and uneven (sometimes contradictory) character development get in the way, leaving viewers wondering exactly what the director was going for here. Despite the many inflated accolades this one has received, considerable fine tuning is definitely in order here.