Gimme Shelter FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
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Day 28 Films, Rishon Films and Roadside Attractions present a PG-13, 95 minute, drama, directed and written by Ron Krauss with a theater release date of January 24, 2014.
A young pregnant 16 year old girl named Agnes ‘Apple’ Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens) is about to run away from her mother, June (Rosario Dawson) because of her aggressive, careless, beating, drug abusive ways. Agnes who likes to be known as Apple is out to change her life by running away from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to seek out her father, Tom Fitzpatrick (Brendan Fraser) a wealthy Wall Street Executive who never gave her any attention throughout her young life.
Along her journey nothing seems to go in her favor, mostly because of her stubborn behavior most likely due to all the terrible things that happened to her while growing up in homes, foster care, time in the slums with her mother who really only wanted her for the welfare money from the government of which June used to support her drug habits. While at the security ward at a New York City hospital Apple meets a priest, Frank McCarthy (James Earl Jones) who happens to help her out by introducing her to Kathy (Ann Dowd) the founder of a shelter for young mothers. Even though Apple questions where her God was all her life Frank explains that for whatever reason she is where she needs to be and to never apologize to anyone for expressing her true feelings. Once at the shelter Apple begins to settle in and forges several relationships with the other mothers who in turn help her to prepare for her own child’s birth.
June tries to get Apple back of course for the money and Tom who now has two young children from his present marriage tries to bond with the daughter he never knew even though at first things did not go well between his wife Joanna (Stephanie Szostak) and Apple. In the long run Apple stops dancing with her demons and thankfully turns the page in life thinking more about her child than herself and giving hope for a life that June never gave to Apple. In an old letter from Tom to Apple when she was a child she was then and now the Apple of his eye and in time will no longer feel like a stranger but rather family. Remember to stay through the credits since the film based on a true story shows us some live footage of the shelter mothers at the Jersey shore.
The film will not make a lot of money at the box office but it is truly filled with some great messages about a person’s hopes and dreams for a better life. Nice direction although a bit raw at times and even better writing this film starts off a bit sluggish but once you get invested in the character and story line it really comes together as a wonderful story about where life can take us if we only try to make the right choices. The film seems a bit gritty and too real at times making it seem somewhat preachy but that aside it is worth a watch on DVD if not in the theater.
Hudgens was excellent in this role, looking almost unrecognizable, more like a boy than a girl. She really pours her heart and soul into this artsy role that sadly may go unnoticed by most movie-goers. Dawson was superb as the drugged out mother but at times I thought her make-up seemed a bit over-board but that aside she really takes a turn for ugly inside and out which is tough for her since she is quite the beauty. Fraser gives more expressions than words in his role but I’ve always been a fan of his and he does justice to his role here. Not familiar with Szostak but she as well as Dowd, Jones and the group of girls at the shelter bring a much needed group of support that keeps this story on track making the audience aware of the plight to help teenage mothers in the world. Written and enjoyed for its message and incredible acting by Hudgens with 2 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.