Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Director: Eliza Hittman
USA / 2020 / 101 min
Last screened on Tue, Dec 29
Live Screening followed by a conversation between Eliza Hittman and Amy Taubin. The film is presented in association with the New York Film Critics Circle.
Eliza Hittman, whose delicate but unflinching adolescent portraits It Felt Like Love (2013) and Beach Rats (2017) earned her a loyal following, arrives at a creative watershed with Sundance and Berlinale prizewinner Never Rarely Sometimes Always. Eschewing polemics, she presents a heartbreakingly straightforward account of Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), a Pennsylvania teen whose home state’s requirement of parental consent for abortions necessitates a clandestine journey to New York City to terminate her pregnancy. With minimal funds and no responsible adults on their side, Autumn and her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder) must navigate the metropolis relying only on their instincts and trust in one another. Flanigan, chosen from over 100 auditioners, offers a screen debut for the ages: her halting answers to the Planned Parenthood questionnaire that inspires the film’s title coalesce into a scene of unforgettable vulnerability and emotional release.
Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is one of America’s oldest and most esteemed award-giving groups, serving as an early bellwether in the awards season and often a necessary corrective to the direction that it finally goes.