DEIDRA & LANEY ROB A TRAIN is the story of two teenage girls who start robbing trains to make ends meet after their mom goes to jail. Set in present day, with shades of RAISING ARIZONA and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Written by Shelby Farrell, with Sundance Film Fest alum Sydney Freeland (DRUNKTOWN'S FINEST) directing, and Susan Cartsonis (THE DUFF, WHAT WOMEN WANT) and Nick Moceri (A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT) producing.
"Deidra and Laney Rob a Train" is set in a non-descript town where almost no one goes to college, the local rail yard doesn't pay a sustainable wage, and signs of the town's glory days have littered the town's visual landscape. There's a lot of talk lately about showing more people of minority races on TV but this is a film that shows a landscape of economic depression that doesn't discriminate against people of either color. The two protagonists are bi-racial and neither their African-American mother nor their white father can make enough to provide them a brighter future (though points go to mom for trying quite a bit harder).
When the titular characters' mother gets incarcerated, they decide to rob the insides of slow-moving freight trains to raise money for their bail. The film gets interesting when exploring the dangers and logistics of such an act. Like a lot of the film, the appeal is in exploring a corner of Americana that has been right under your eyes most of your life.
Deidra and Laney are astereotpical with the elder sister being an overachiever in school and Laney being angst-filled and Laney filled with a mixture of angst and a desire to fit in. She's bullied quite a bit and these scenes are perhaps the cruelest in the film to stomach if you haven't seen much of this genre. The film is filled with a few familiar faces (Sasheer Zamata of "Saturday Night Live", Missi Pyle, and Tim Blake Nelson) but mostly thrives on new talent and these actresses have a lot of room to surprise us.
It's a worthwhile watch.
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