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A Light Beneath Their Feet (2015)

R | | Drama | 10 October 2015 (USA)
2:13 | Trailer

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A high school senior must choose between enrolling at the college of her dreams and remaining at home to take care of her bipolar mother.


Valerie Weiss


Moira McMahon (as Moira Mcmahon Leeper)
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Madison Davenport ... Beth
Taryn Manning ... Gloria Gerringson
Maddie Hasson ... Daschulla
Kurt Fuller ... Dr. Rutter
Kali Hawk ... Julie
Carter Jenkins ... Jeremy
Nora Dunn ... Dr. Krolly
DuShon Monique Brown ... Cindy
James Leo Ryan ... Tom the Mailman
Phillip Edward Van Lear ... Joe
Brian King ... Paul
Addy Stafford ... Amy Bennington
Elvis Thao ... Delivery Man
Marilyn Camacho ... Maria
Agneeta Thacker ... Amy Wally


Emotionally raw and uncommonly observant, this coming-of-age drama balances the pull of family obligation against personal aspirations. Madison Davenport beautifully conveys the mixture of fierce love and grueling weariness she feels while embracing her role as caregiver, a responsibility that threatens to consume the entirety of her life. And Taryn Manning is equally impressive in avoiding any trace of caricature in her portrayal of mental illness, preserving Gloria's dignity even as her behavior becomes more erratic. Director Valerie Weiss has found an ideal collaboration in screenwriter Moira McMahon Leeper, making her feature debut. By turns endearing, unsettling, and ultimately moving, A Light Beneath Their Feet is a triumph of empathetic filmmaking. There are no heroes and villains in this story, just ordinary people struggling to create a sense of normalcy in their day-to-day existence. Written by Matt Fagerholm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a world where teenagers are either being ignored by their parents or taking care of them, growing up is the only way out.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some teen sexuality and drug use

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ph.D. Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Words and music by New Arcades
Performed by New Arcades & Chloe Pamplin
Copyright © February 2014
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User Reviews

Mother-daughter relationship drama under trying circumstances
5 September 2016 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"A Light Beneath Their Feet" (2015 release; 90 min.) brings the story of a mother and daughter. As the movie opens we see the daughter Beth doing dishes, while her mom Gloria is taking prescription medication of some sort. Pretty quickly we get the idea that something is really "off" with mom (probably bi-polar), which pushes Beth, a senior in high school, in the unusual position of having to care for her mom, rather than the other way around, In the meantime, Beth, already accepted at Northwestern (her mom's school of choice because it's nearby) and also at UCLA (Beth's school of choice because it 's far away and the weather is perfect) needs to decide what to do. On top of all that, Beth has developed a small crush on a boy. At this point we're 15 minutes into the movie, but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is directed by up-and-coming director Valerie Weiss. Here she brings a tough topic, namely how a mother and daughter must tackle life when mom needs help. "You know can't take care of myself" Mom tells Beth early on. Can you imagine having to deal with that as a 17 or 18 yr. old? The movie is helped immensely by the lead performers, Taryn Manning as the mom and Madison Davenport as the daughter. Weiss paces the movie nicely and before you know it, the movie has flashed by. There are tons of great songs throughout the movie, many of them of the female indie-rock variety.

I never heard about this movie until I saw it at my local library the other day. So I basically took a flyer on this, and I'm glad I did. Nothing earth0shattering, but simply a nice 'little' movie about a mother-daughter relationship under some trying circumstances. "A Light Beneath Their Feet" is worth checking out!

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