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Sheltered Life (2008)

Three teenagers form an unlikely bond on a road trip to nowhere in a wide open field behind a women's shelter. In a broken-down 1970's VW bus, upper-class-sixteen-year-old Josephine Nash, ... See full summary »


Carl Laudan


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Greenblatt Natasha Greenblatt ... Josephine Nash
Valerie Buhagiar ... Candice Nash
Jaren Brandt Bartlett Jaren Brandt Bartlett ... Cal
Eve Harlow ... Kendra
Ryan Robbins ... David Nash
Jenn Griffin ... Christine
Dana McLoughlin ... Tina
Klodyne Rodney Klodyne Rodney ... Daphne
Desiree Zurowski ... Honey
Stefany Mathias ... Agnes
Julie Patzwald Julie Patzwald ... April
Marci T. House ... Vonda
Anna Cummer ... Anna
Cyler Point Cyler Point ... Eddy
Pamela MacDonald ... The Countess


Three teenagers form an unlikely bond on a road trip to nowhere in a wide open field behind a women's shelter. In a broken-down 1970's VW bus, upper-class-sixteen-year-old Josephine Nash, wise-beyond-her-years Kendra and urban-poet Cal invent their own private Utopia. It shatters when Cal's mother is killed and he's forced out of the Shelter. Jo's anger detonates, throwing her onto a collision course with everyone around her. "Sheltered Life" explores themes of morality, vengeance, and justice, through these three friends, an ensemble cast of shelter women, and the story of a daughter who loves her mother enough to destroy the world. Written by Cineman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A condemnation of violence as an agent of change. See more »





Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A quick report from VIFF...A gem worth discovering.
4 October 2008 | by HToAllSee all my reviews

I was in town for VIFF and decided to attend "Sheltered Life" on a whim. I knew virtually nothing about the film going into it and now, I feel as if I've discovered a gem. The movie follows Candice and her daughter, Josephine as they find themselves in a women's shelter after a domestic dispute with the husband and father, David Nash. During their time at the shelter, both of them connect with various individuals. Josephine, in particular, forms an odd, yet charming friendship with two teenagers at the shelter, Kendra and Cal. Over the course of their four day stay, Candice and Josephine grow closer to each other in some areas, yet farther apart in others. As their time winds down, they're forced to make a drastic change. All and all, this is a lovely slice of life drama with strong social issues lingering in the background. It tackles many topics with immense realism and the film never tries to present you with an obvious message, or easy answers, for that matter. All of the characters flow with authenticity, even the minor ones.

Valerie Buhagiar is great as Candice, appearing steady on the surface, but with a deep sense of hurt and confusion hidden below. Natasha Greenblatt is extremely effective as Josephine, carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. Jaren Brandt Bartlett also leaves a poignant impression as Cal, hitting multiple notes...sometimes even within the same expression. Honestly, every single cast member has a moment to shine. Also, the cinematography is gorgeous, especially for a film of this budget. Not to mention, the music by Dan Mangan is wonderfully moving and tragic.

The ending was very abrupt and surprising, but in the end, I felt as if it was inevitable. It didn't sit right with a fellow peer of mine, but after it had time to soak in, he agreed with me completely. Overall, it was quite a find and hopefully this film scores a great distribution deal.

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