One of the most noteworthy films to be released direct to streaming during lockdown so far, Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a vital depiction of women’s rights in the contemporary United States. The film follows high-school-aged Pennsylvanian teenager Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) as she discovers that she is unexpectedly pregnant. Faced with a dysfunctional family life, and conservative legislation in her home state, Autumn enlists the help of her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), and the two embark on trip to New York to seek an abortion.
Sometimes Never Rarely Always bolsters Hittman’s growing reputation. The director earned praise for naturalistic New York-set coming-of-agers It Felt Like Love and Beach Rats, and her latest finds her back in the same groove. Autumn and Skylar find one day in New York turns to two and then three as they navigate the details of Planned Parenthood and the demands of the procedure. More than a political statement, Hittman’s empathetic film is spare and moving, preferring quiet observation to polemic. Special mention should also go to the two leads, Flanigan and Ryder are absolutely convincing in their feature film debuts.
Sometimes Never Rarely Always is available to buy on Amazon Prime Video from 13 May. It will be available to rent from multiple services on 27 May