(2017) (Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: As a young woman tries to get up the courage to tell her father about her pending engagement, she remembers her time growing up in poverty and squalor with her siblings as her unorthodox and nomadic parents moved them all around the country.
- It's 1989 and Jeannette Walls (BRIE LARSON) is a New York City based journalist and gossip columnist who's recently engaged to her financial analyst boyfriend, David (MAX GREENFIELD). But while her siblings -- Brian (JOSH CARAS), Lori (SARAH SNOOK) and Maureen (BRIGETTE LUNDY-PAINE) -- are aware of this news, she's yet to inform her parents, Rex (WOODY HARRELSON) and Rose Mary (NAOMI WATTS). And that's because they're currently homeless in the city, something that embarrasses Jeannette to the point that she lies about them to others.
All of which stems from growing up in a decidedly unorthodox and nomadic fashion with her parents during the 1960s and '70s. As seen in various flashbacks at various points during that period, young Jeannette (ELLA ANDERSON & CHANDLER HEAD), Brian (CHARLIE SHOTWELL & IAIN ARMITAGE), Lori (SADIE SINK & OLIVIA KATE RICE) and Maureen (SHREE CROOKS & EDEN GRACE REDFIELD) have to contend with constantly being on the move.
That's usually the result of something their father has done, some of which stemmed from his drinking and their overall lack of money, what with him usually being unemployed while their mom is a literal and figurative starving artist. Often living below the poverty line, sometimes in squalor, and occasionally without electricity or running water, the kids view their lives through various perspectives, sometimes enjoying the unexpectedness and adventure of it all, but at others wanting stability and even food to eat.
As the years pass and the kids start growing up, their reactions lean more toward the latter, all of which begins to put a strain on Jeannette and her father's unique relationship, something which was once strong. With those flashbacks exploring that and more, we see what lead to Jeannette becoming the woman she is in the present day and her mixed feelings toward her parents.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Some teens might be interested, particularly if they're fans of anyone in the cast and/or the book on which this is based.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking.
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