6.2/10
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Adult Life Skills (2016)

TV-MA | | Comedy, Drama | 18 January 2019 (USA)
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Anna is stuck: she's approaching 30, living like a hermit in her mum's garden shed and wondering why the suffragettes ever bothered. She spends her days making videos using her thumbs as ... See full summary »

Director:

Rachel Tunnard

Writer:

Rachel Tunnard
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jodie Whittaker ... Anna
Lorraine Ashbourne ... Marion
Brett Goldstein ... Brendan
Rachael Deering Rachael Deering ... Fiona
Eileen Davies ... Jean
Alice Lowe ... Alice
Edward Hogg ... The Snorkeler
Ozzy Myers Ozzy Myers ... Clint
David Anderson ... Luke
Andrew Buckley ... Postman
Christian Contreras ... Hank
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alfie Wheeler Alfie Wheeler ... Young Billy
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Storyline

Anna is stuck: she's approaching 30, living like a hermit in her mum's garden shed and wondering why the suffragettes ever bothered. She spends her days making videos using her thumbs as actors - thumbs that bicker about things like whether Yogi Bear is a moral or existential nihilist. But Anna doesn't show these videos to anyone and no one knows what they are for. A week before her birthday her Mum serves her an ultimatum - she needs to move out of the shed, get a haircut that doesn't put her gender in question and stop dressing like a homeless teenager. Naturally, Anna tells her Mum to "back the f-off". However, when her school friend comes to visit, Anna's self-imposed isolation becomes impossible to maintain. Soon she is entangled with a troubled eight year old boy obsessed with Westerns, and the local estate agent whose awkward interpersonal skills continually undermine his attempts to seduce her. Written by Michael Berliner

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

f rated | triple f rated | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Writer Director's website

Country:

UK | Sweden

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Veštine odrastanja See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the short film Emotional Fusebox (2014). See more »

Connections

Remake of Emotional Fusebox (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

This Old Guitar
Performed by Micah P. Hinson
Written by John Denver
Courtesy of Full Time Hobby Records LTD.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ozzy and Jodie
17 January 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Each of us deals with grief in our own way, and often it's even more challenging to help a grieving loved one. Loss and grief are at the core of writer-director Rachel Tunnard's feature length film developed from her award winning short, EMOTIONAL FUSEBOX (2014).

When first we meet Anna, she is creating a space-oriented home video using aluminum foil and her thumbs. Yes, Anna is an adult - mere days from her 30th birthday. She's not the type to live in her mom's basement ... no, instead she lives in the cluttered garden shed in her mom's backyard. The play on words for the shed clues us in to Anna's quirky personality (as if the foil spaceship and thumb faces hadn't already done so). The Anna we see currently has no place for humor in her life.

Anna is struggling with the grief associated with losing her twin brother - a brother she was extremely close to. She's challenged daily by the fine line between sorrow and depression, and is regularly late to her job at an outdoor camp for kids. Her morning routine includes drying her clothes in the microwave and bickering with her mother (Lorraine Ashbourne) over finding a boyfriend and new place to live. Mom has demanded Anna move out of the shed by her birthday.

Others in Anna's life include her grandmother (Eileen Davies), Anna's close friend Fiona (Rachael Deering), and local real estate agent Brendan (Brett Goldstein) who may or may not be on the spectrum, is constantly refuting assumptions that he is gay, and undoubtedly has an unrequited crush on Anna. Each of these folks tries in their own way to pull Anna from her funk and get her back to living. Surprisingly, the turn occurs when she is forced to look after a neighbor boy named Clint when his mother gets rushed to the hospital. Clint is an odd kid who wears cowboy attire and proclaims his desire to be like Anna ... and they are more similar than she would care to admit initially.

Jodie Whitaker plays Anna and newcomer Ozzy Myers is Clint. Young Mr. Myers excels in his role, never going over-the-top with his offbeat tendencies. Ms. Whitaker ("Doctor Who") first charmed us on screen with her role in VENUS (2006) and she proves yet again what an accomplished actress she is ... likable and relatable. Here she turns an arrested development 30 year old hermit into someone we pull for. The film is filled with awkward interactions, each grounded in reality.

Of course, there is really nothing cute or charming about a 30 year old who hasn't yet grown up, but slack and understanding is due here because of the grief. And it's difficult to name another film character who could count mole hills daily and make it seem natural. Just remember that when a kid says they want to be like you, take it seriously - even if it's because you are sad and lonely. Ms. Tunnard's film is a bittersweet comedy that's not too bitter, not too sweet, and not overly funny. It's simply a fine little indie movie with a terrific performance from a talented actress.


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