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 »





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


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 »

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Words and Music by Joshiah Birrell
Performed by GOVS
Copyright © 2013 GOVS
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User Reviews

a few too many
1 August 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

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.

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Release Date:

10 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Light Beneath Their Feet 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 »

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