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Fly Away
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Reviews & Ratings for
Fly Away More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Much needed window into autism

Author: super-aspie from United States
7 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a coming of age story of a young autistic woman. The reviewer who sees the mother as abandoning her child to a home is clueless.... just has zero instincts for comprehending autism whatsoever. The reality is that autistic children grow up into adults who often have to fend for themselves. Continuing to stay with her mom would have been the worst thing that could happen to everyone involved, especially for Mandy.

If you look at this from a totally Aspie viewpoint like me, you would see that the primary issue here is long-term functionality... and long term happiness of everyone involved. There really wasn't any choice in the matter than to leave her in an environment specifically designed by experienced people to help young people like her in her situation to have the absolute best chance at life. Her mom, trying to keep her at home as she had been would be progressively more disastrous. It would result in her staying in the special education class for retarded people.... the best they could offer her would be a chance at at life pushing a broom.... and loading down her mother with an ADOLESCENT autistic who can and does do things like throw desks.... and run away....

If you love someone, set them free.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Natural Work of Art

10/10
Author: The Movie Guys from United States
7 September 2013

Beth Broderick and Ashley Rickards star in Janet Grillo's film about a divorced working mother raising an autistic teen daughter. Rickards won the Reel Frontier Special Jury Award for best performance at the 2011 Arizona International Film Festival, but other than its Prism Award nomination for best feature film dealing with mental health, "Fly Away" has not received it's due share of award recognition.

Fly AwayRickards performance as young, autistic Mandy is baffling, uncomfortable and utterly believable. Not having been familiar with her work prior to viewing "Fly Away", I presumed this was an autistic actor. But then I wondered how possible it would be to direct someone that high on the autism spectrum, and I discovered that she had been on "American Horror Story: Asylum," and now stars in MTV's"Awkward." I marveled at the realistic performance. When you forget you're watching performances, you know you're undergoing a brilliant film experience. Rickards should have been noticed for this performance in a much greater capacity. Yet the film seems to have been off the Academy's radar.

Also in a spot-on natural and moving performance is Beth Broderick ("Sabrina the teenage Witch") as Mandy's mother Jeanne. Her representation of this oh-so patient mom reveals such tender care and empathetic love, that I am not likely to forget soon.

The story is not anything new, but it may be to those who are unaware of how autism affects lives. We live the challenge,if only momentarily, with Jeanne and Mandy. It's a truthful slice of the struggle, and such parental devotion is sure to make us clutch our chests in an effort to hold our hearts as we watch.

"Fly Away" is not an educational film, even though it educates. It is not a docu­-drama, even though it documents real struggles. It's not a film that should only be used to teach something or prove a point. It's a well-­made, natural work of art. It can (and should) be watched by all who appreciate well-­made dramatic films, with whole­hearted, real comedic moments.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A very sensitive film that you will not forget

10/10
Author: wolfhell88 from Austria
29 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is such a wonderful film that you will never forget in your life. It's not "Rainman", no big studio film to entertain masses. "Fly away" digs so much deeper into reality. It will touch you so deep inside.

The story of Jeanne and her autistic daughter Mandy. It's almost impossible for the mother to manager her life because she always has to take care of her daughter. Even a love romance with the new neighbor looks impossible and so does work when she loses a deal because Mandy deleted some files on her laptop. Jeanne visits a school for autistic kids and has to make the hardest decision in her life: to let Mandy go to live her life and to start living her own life.

There are so many intense scenes between mother and daughter. Even when they go out eating pizza and just having fun people look at Mandy without any understanding and tell her mother if she can't handle her she shouldn't go out with her. One of the most beautiful scenes in this film is when Jeanne already has an car accident because of Mandy's behavior during the drive. Jeanne stops the car and starts crying. Then Mandy sings for her "Ladybird", the song Jeanne always sang to her daughter when she woke up in the middle of the night crying and then she also tells her to breath in and breath out like her mother always did to her.

Ashley Richards gives an impressive performance as Mandy. She is so deep in her role that you just realize in the "Making of" that she is not really autistic. Beth Broderick plays Jeanne very sensitive and heart-touching. She is a great actress and this is one of her best parts ever. Both play their roles without makeup and give up all vanity. Beth is such a beauty she even looks great without makeup.

In the "Making of" everyone talks about their motivation about this project and so we hear that director/writer Janet Grillo has an autistic son and that Beth Broderick's sister works with autistic persons so that is why this film is so impressive.

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