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
Gloria Gerringson (Taryn Manning) is recovering from a mental breakdown and gets a cafeteria job at her daughter Beth (Madison Davenport)'s high school. Beth wants to go away to college but she is conflicted about leaving her bi-polar mother alone. Daschulla (Maddie Hasson) eavesdrops on her father psychiatrist Dr. Rutter (Kurt Fuller)'s sessions with Gloria. Jeremy (Carter Jenkins) is a notorious student after a scandal sleeping with his teacher. Beth likes Jeremy which makes jealous Daschulla vengeful.
Manning and Davenport deliver a couple of great performances. The movie would be a great indie favorite if it stayed away from some of the other stuff. There is no real need for the scandal related to Jeremy. He's fine as a loner outsider. The extra layer makes it more like Dawson's Creek and less serious. Her co-worker is unnecessary. Daschulla's character doesn't have to be a goth emo girl struggling with daddy issues. She could be a simple mean girl and there's no reason not to combine her with the mean girl in the movie. This would be improved with some simplifications.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this