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Flying Lessons (2010)

R | | Drama | 4 February 2010 (USA)
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With her life at a crossroads, 25 year old Sophie Conway returns home to the small town she always wanted to forget. Once home, she is faced with the friends and lovers she left behind, a tangled relationship with her Mother, and Harry Pleasant, an Alzheimer's Disease patient who, in an opposing way, shares Sophie's struggle to remember.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Steven Jennings
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Billy
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Benji
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Harry Pleasant
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Totty Kuspert
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Caroline Conway
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Lance
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Mila
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Chief Dobbs
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Shelly
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Annie
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Teen Punk 2
Jillian Greene ...
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Storyline

With her life at a crossroads, 25 year old Sophie Conway returns home to the small town she always wanted to forget. Once home, she is faced with the friends and lovers she left behind, a tangled relationship with her Mother, and Harry Pleasant, an Alzheimer's Disease patient who, in an opposing way, shares Sophie's struggle to remember.

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content

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4 February 2010 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
A Complex Interplay of Damaged Characters
4 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is not evident why this film, released in 2010, did not attract more attention. In many ways it is a tough little story that takes audience concentration throughout to make it all fit together, but the impact of the messages it delivers make it one of the more impressive films of the decade!

The film opens with down on her luck Sophie Conway (Maggie Grace) stumbling through a drug and alcohol addled existence in Los Angeles, her life in shambles as she has sex on a bus with stranger Benji (Rick Gonzalez). With her life at a crossroads, the 25 year old Sophie returns home to the small town of Lompoc (a little town in Santa Barbara County) she always wanted to forget. Once home, she is faced with the friends - Mila (Nikki Deloach) - and lovers - Billy (Jonathan Tucker) - she left behind, a tangled relationship with her Mother (Christine Lahti) and her married paramour Steven (Cary Elwes), and Harry Pleasant (Hal Holbrook), an Alzheimer's Disease patient who, in an opposing way, shares Sophie's struggle to remember. Each of the characters in the story is trying to mentally escape a past that is painful and their interaction slowly reveals the truths of their past experiences, why they have grown apart, and how facing cloudy memories and struggling to make them clear can actually change their lives.

Hal Holbrook gives an incredibly thoughtful and eloquent portrayal of the cruelties of Alzheimer's Disease, Christine Lahti returns to the screen in a potent portrayal of a woman who attempts to disguise her life disappointments with alcohol, Maggie Grace completely inhabits the tough role of Sophie whose inability to remember the details of her father's suicide influences all of the characters' lives, and Jonathan Tucker is the epitome of a lad unable to forgive the past and move forward out of the small town into the world of adulthood. Derek Magyar directs Thomas Kuehl impeccable script with a natural ease -a factor that allows the story to unfold slowly like entering a strange other place for the first time. This is a very fine film that deserves a wide audience.

Grady Harp


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