Gimme Shelter (2013)
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the movie follows 16yr old Apple on her journey to find hope and peace and she finds it in an unlikely place. Vanessa Hudgens' portrayal of Apple was tender and touching and over-the-top at times but still very moving - and believable. Rosario Dawson appeared in a way i've never seen, not just physically, but so emotionally disturbing i felt a visceral reaction when she was on screen. Brendan Fraser was heartbreakingly good in this. when I thought I would dislike his character, I actually ended up loving him. the rare glimpse of James Earl Jones was like a balm in this emotional whirlwind. everyone played so well.
i went to see this with mom and girlfriends. i recommend it highly for girls' nights out or group bonding of any kind. it is a special film about a special group of people in our world. well done.
This is a profound film which explores the bonds we share even with those we prefer to ignore. A film which celebrates our common humanity through a story of suffering. It's a gritty, heart-wrenching depiction of how impersonal and uncaring we can be.
The major film studios will not like this film. This is not their product. This is an independent film, part of the new cinematic democracy that threatens their historical control over the industry.
The mainstream movie theaters will not like this film. This is not a popcorn film. Concessions sales may remain flat.
Viewers who prefer light fare will not like this film. It is not a safe film. It's an engaging film that deals with real human truths. It's about fallen men and women who are unloved and unloving. Men who fail to love and protect women. Men who hurt and exploit women. Women who become broken and brutal. Women who become cold and heartless. And it's about people who choose to love.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11-12
The film has an incredible cast, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones and Rosario Dawson.
Vanessa Hudgens should win an award for this film.
Go. Watch this movie, it will be the best time and money you will spend today.
The screenplay is based on the true story of a 16-year-old girl who goes by the name Apple (the talented Vanessa Hudgens) whose life could easily have served as the basis for a Dickens novel had it been set a century- and-a-half in the past. Born to an abusive, drug-addicted single mother (an uglied-up Rosario Dawson) who wants her daughter around only for the welfare checks she brings in, Apple has been kicked around from one foster home to the next, when she isn't trying to re-connect with her uber-rich biological father (Brendan Fraser) or living on the streets, that is.
Krausse sure pours on the pathos and the suffering, but the movie as a whole isn't as compelling as it should be, partly because, while there is a certain grittiness in the look and feel of the picture, the episodic nature of the tale doesn't allow for any real development of the secondary characters, leaving them stereotypical and flat. They simply remain off-screen for too long a time to register much of an impact on the audience. Apple's absurdly callous "step-mother" (Stephanie Szostak) and a kindly priest (James Earl Jones), who offers the hand of friendship to Apple in her time of greatest need, feel particularly two-dimensional and under-developed. Moreover, the dialogue frequently undercuts the naturalism of the piece by having the characters spell out in words rather than through indirection and action what it is we're supposed to be taking away with us from the movie.
All those who made "Gimme Shelter" definitely had their hearts in the right place, but I think this is one of those instances where a little less fidelity to the actual story and a little more focus might have resulted in a more effective drama.
Gimme Shelter is a powerfully emotional film that chronicles the life of a young girl who just wants to find a place where she belongs in the world. We watch as Agnes encounters people from her dark past, to people in her present who may just lead her on the path to salvation. Some of the situations are dark and heart-breaking, but the moments when Agnes finds and feels the love she's been looking for will move you to tears. While many may compare it to the film Precious, Gimme Shelter is based on a true story. The film moves at a quick-pace, but not too quick to where you don't find yourself emotionally evolved in the story and the characters.
While many remember her for role in High School Musical or even most recently for her devilishly trashy performance in Spring Breakers, Vanessa Hudgens gives the performance of her career. It's powerful, heartbreaking, and moving at the same time. Hudgens gets so lost in her role. We really believe her as this lost and broken girl who yearns to be loved. For anyone who doubts that Hudgens can't act (which honestly, I thought this at first), once you see this film you can see the great potential Hudgens inhabits. Very few young actresses could have pulled this role off, but Hudgens nails it through and through and carries the film on her own. In very much supporting roles are Rosario Dawson who gives a dark and pure evil performance as Agnes' drug addicted and abusive mother whom she tries to escape. Dawson really delivers in this role and every time she's on screen you're digested and you absolutely HATE her. Brenden Fraser stars as Agnes' biological and wealthy father. When we first meet his character, Fraser comes off as very bland in the role, but during the course of the film he eases into it more and gives a decent enough performance.
Gimme Shelter is a deep and emotional film that will touch you, and leave you in tears, and full of hope. All of this definitely wouldn't have been possible without the powerhouse performance given by Vanessa Hudgens.
My Rating: 10/10
The movie showcases the help as being Christian without equal acknowledgement to other beliefs or that none should be promoted as part of help. Helping a person does not mean imposing my value system as an underlying subterfuge within that help. The basics of compassion, respect, tolerance, responsibility are not the province of my religion alone. Evangelizing a specific creed is being dishonest towards that person be they Native Peoples, Jew, Buddhist, Hindi, Muslim, atheist or Christian.
Well times have changed and religion in cinema (regarded positively) is even more controversial than what's become mainstream and fairly common. Either way the "Church agenda template," whether Christian or in this case, Catholic, usually consists of a troubled youth with nowhere to turn finding solace in the last place they'd ever expect.
Enter the main character (seeking "Shelter," part of the Rolling Stones song title never played or mentioned or relevant), an androgynous teenager named Agnes, nicknamed Apple, who, from the very beginning, is up to her neck in trouble – but hardly her own...
Mom is a scummy, yellow-toothed, drugged-out hooker, and with so much screaming commotion there's little time for the viewer to catch their breath when Apple hits the street.
Attempting to bum a ride from a taxi followed by a failed carjacking, she winds up bleeding on the doorstep of an aloof man we eventually learn is her biological father A multi- millionaire with a house more like a castle where Apple doesn't fit in Especially after she finds herself pregnant and, choosing against abortion, meets her saving grace in the form of James Earl Jones as Father McCarthy.
Not surprisingly, Jones plays a likable gentle giant with ease, but his chemistry with the troubled teen, beginning with reluctance on her part, is somewhat forced and contrived. In fact Apple's entire situation is so morosely dire and painfully melodramatic, we never get to know the real person behind the tattered clothing.
Meanwhile, Rosario Dawson's villainous mom is quite the heavy but eventually goes way over the top, making Apple's stint at an all girl's home, run by a patient and kindhearted Caucasian Mother Teresa of the American ghetto, the only uplifting aspect of a movie that, in trying too hard to be edgy and raw, pays off with an optimistically saccharine yet surprisingly unpredictable conclusion.
What can I say about Vanessa Hudgens? Bravo!!! At points you could just see the flower blooming, with what will be a solid acting career. I was also pleased with the young supporting cast that came in a later stages in the movie.
Go out and rent this movie! Especially if you are a fan of quality, real life drama.
The film also highlights the value of friendship, and sisterly bond. This is highlighted by the fact the girls father, who at first seems to be torn between his two lives, that of a pre-college mistake with a young woman, who we get to know by the fathers reaction to her, later on in the movie, was similar to her daughter at one stage, with regards to her being very contumacious and having a factious attitude towards everyone. But it is clear the daughter having seen the results of her mothers mistakes, strives to change this, and does not want this for her daughter.
The father was very young and his parents wanted him to go to college, although it is clear he was sad about not being even able to hold his daughter, again due to the mother being stubborn and the pressure to succeed from his parents.
We see his reaction to the mother as almost hesitant, and has to ask her mother if it is her, from his reaction we see her mother was clearly very beautiful and very different.
The movie finishes on a good note. Although her father has bought everything for the child, despite wanting her to abort the child at an earlier stage. He appears to be concerned for her, even his wife, who in one part of the movie, left her in the hospital after the scan, then lied. about it. It is realised early on that the father regrets not being there for her, but at the time he didn't full understand, he mentions not even being able to hold her.
Despite being offered shelter at her fathers house, in the newly built house on the grounds, she has him stop the car, and explains that she felt she had a family at the shelter, with all the other pregnant girls. She heads back on foot, and is greeted with open arms, she tells her father she needs more time, and that she will be a daughter for him someday. She clearly feels she has the support at the shelter, although in real life the shelter would have most like wanted her to leave once her father had claimed her. One thing that may have been incorrect, was the fact that it was acceptable that she should go back with her mother, and that the shelter cannot keep her there until her mother signs. What is strange is the father clearly wanted to help and be a part of her life, why did the shelter not say they needed the bed for another needy mother, due to the fact the father has more than the financial means to help her.
Vanessa Hudgens was spectacular. She gave an interestingly nuanced performance of a tenacious teen who had absolutely nothing going for her. I haven't really seen her in anything else, so I can't compare her performance to any past work. But suffice to say, I was impressed. Rosario Dawson scared the crap out of me. I'm a huge fan of all her work, but I've got to say this is the first time I've seen her play such a despicable human being. Kudos to her for her performance. Brandon Fraser, who, I might add, has aged as gracefully as a hunk of cheese, was pretty decent too. I have to say he was my favorite character, though he wasn't in the movie that much.
I guess it's the ending that ruined the movie for me. That, and the Christian propaganda. I am a Christian, but even my teeth started to hurt when they were sprouting all the sweet words of love and fellowship and sisterhood. It just didn't work for me. And the ending...well, you'll have to see it for yourself. Suffice to say that it seemed she took one step forward, then took five steps back.
Eventually, this unwanted young lady ends up coming in contact with an old priest (James Earl Jones) and he wants to help. He knows of a home for pregnant teens and convinces her to give it a try. This is no small task, as Apple has learned over her short life that you really cannot trust anyone. While the place turns out to be pretty nice, Apple just cannot accept that anyone could help her without some sort of agenda and you wonder if she'll stay put and have her baby there or, perhaps, on some street corner. Her first instinct is to just run.
I really had to admire the script for "Gimme Shelter", as it manages to seem a lot truer than most stories about troubled teens. Missing are many of the clichés you might think would be and the film can be favorably compared to another great film about a troubled teen, "Precious". And, as a retired social worker and psychotherapist, I have worked on a lot of cases that were similar to this one and it comes off as believable and compelling. It's not always pleasant viewing but it is a high quality film—one you have to see to appreciate.
In addition to a dandy script, what really impressed me was the acting. While Hudgens is in her mid-20s, she managed to pull off a convincing portrait of a scared and almost animalistic teen—and is a much meatier role than she's usually known for doing. Dawson is also a standout. While she was only in the film here and there, she managed to play an incredibly nasty character with great zest and was very convincing. For both roles, both actresses had to make themselves as non-glamorous as possible in order to be true to their characters. Additionally, Fraser's role is a lot more interesting and compelling compared to other roles he's taken such as "George of the Jungle" and "Furry Vengeance" (uggh!).
"Gimme Shelter" is not always pleasant, but it is a film well worth your time. It's also a film well worth seeing with your teen, as the film has a lot you and your kids could talk about when it's complete. Overall, there's really nothing I didn't like about this film—I just don't know if such an earthy and not always pleasant theme will attract many viewers. I sure know it deserves a chance.