5 November 2013 4:27 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In “Free Ride,” writer-director Shana Betz’s 1970s-set feature debut, an attractive single mother of two (Anna Paquin) escapes a dangerously abusive relationship, relocating to Florida and sliding into a drug-running career. But there are no tense shootouts in this laid-back period piece, in which a criminal career involves sailing through azure waters, hosting occasional wild parties and hanging with sexy co-workers. Based on Betz’s own experiences as the younger daughter of the Paquin character, the pic waffles between professed admiration for a woman willing to risk anything for her kids and tacit disapproval of her chosen lifestyle. It’s unlikely to make waves on its Tba release through Phase 4 Films.

After barely escaping strangulation at the hands of a boyfriend while her horrified offspring look on, Christina (Paquin) packs up and heads off to Florida, where Sandy (Drea de Matteo), an old friend from her go-go dancing days, »

- Ronnie Scheib

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