What Lies West



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 69%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 40

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN



Gina Hiraizumi as Sherri

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rawfootagepodcast 8 / 10

It's Not About The Journey...

There have been many films recently about young women struggling to find purpose and identity. Many have been set in school, such as Ladybird, Booksmart, Eighth Grade and the criminally underappreciated Edge Of Seventeen. In the slightly older Quarter-Life-Crisis bracket the prime example is Frances Ha, but in my opinion the superioir version is Saint Frances. What Lies West fits very nicely alongside these films.

Nicolette is 22 years old and at a loose end over the summer after graduating from college with an acting degree. Instead of following all her friends to La La Land she has a different plan, which on the surface is not a bad idea, but in reality is covering a chasm of self-doubt and insecurity.

Chloe, the 16 year old she has to "Babysit" has been so warped by her chronically over protective mother that she has no friends, no life and has become completely insular. The tiny, rebellious idea she has to hike across California is weird, but at least it's not going the sex-and-drugs route. Even if she wanted to go the sex-and-drugs route she wouldn't know where to start.

What I like about this film is that the hiking section is actually a relatively small part of the film. There is a lot of build up to setting off on the hike and a lot of effort to set up the dynamics. Nicolette quickly realises what a bad situation Chloe is in with her mother and tries her absolute best to engage with her charge, despite not really needing to. She's getting paid either way. Chloe is constantly protesting about Nicolette pretending to be her friend, yet Nicolette continues anyway. By the time the hiking section actually starts the tentative, genuine connection between the two has been so well established, that director Jessica Ellis simply puts obstacles in the way and sees what happens. The different ways the women react to a mobile phone is very telling. Nicolette is more concerned with showing nature on Instagram than nature itself and the overprotected Chloe doesn't know how to react to a mobile at all.

The highest compliment I can pay to this film is I wish it was longer. In an era where many films clock in at well over two hours having one than lasts a trim 79 minutes would usually be a relief. Honestly though I wanted more. The relationship between the girls was engaging, the examination of the enormously problematic mother was interesting and the hiking scenes had all the wilderness magic you could ask for. I even know where I would have added content. The relationship Nicolette has with a douchenozzle who seems nothing more than a user might have been explored a little deeper.

Jessica Ellis has created a charming, simple, sweet film that would be all too easy to overlook, but I think you should give it a try. I also think Ellis deserves more opportunities and should be given them.

Reviewed by tillybridges 10 / 10

You need it

A truly wonderful, uplifting look at a friendship between girls on an adventure that feels real and hopeful all at once. The balm your soul needs in these troubled times.

Reviewed by Jas_SJ2 7 / 10

Growing Up Is Tough!

I really enjoyed this. A very modern day coming of age flick, and I felt for Chloe who really has a tough gig dealing with her mother. Also nice to see some quieter more out-of-the-way parts of the US on screen. Great soundtrack too. Nice work!

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