By Jan Hamilton
When the audience first meets Richie Wincott (Tye Sheridan), he has just turned eighteen and has aged out of his residence with Child Protective Services. His is not interested in any further education and doesn’t even have a GED. When one first sees him, the first thought is, “This is where the future prison population comes from.” Even though he doesn’t really seem like a bad kid, he is desperate to survive. As he first hits the streets, he learns how to pick locks on gym lockers, taking whatever valuables he can find. The audience also sees him working hard at a manual labor job he manages to get. Despite the easier money he can acquire through criminal activities, it appears that Richie would really prefer to make his living honestly.
He rents a small, empty house in what appears to be low-income housing, but it’s clear he will just barely make the rent each month with the job he has. He soon gets befriended by Swim (Caleb Landry Jones), a sketchy character who makes all of his money through crooked means. He suggests that Riche rob his landlady. Swim treats Richie to a fun-filled trip with several girls, but Richie eventually breaks away form him. Swim reappears, however, when Richie gets desperate for money. Richie also gets involved in a relationship with a young woman named Joan (Imogen Poots) who is well-off, but adrift after a divorce and the death of a parent. When a poor life choice affects his future, Richie must decide if he and Joan have any kind of chance or if his fate was decided when his parents died.
Tye Sheridan, the young actor who is so good in both Mud and Joe, is again excellent here. He gives a heartbreaking portrayal as Richie. This is a moving film that never resorts to sentimentality and gives some insight into a world where young people face huge odds against making a successful life, or even simply surviving.
Director: A.J. Edwards
Executive Producer: Alan Elias,
Gus Van Sant
Producer: Christian Sosa,
Nicolas Gonda, Tyler Glodt
Screenwriter: A.J. Edwards
Cinematographer: Jeff Bierman
Editor: Samuel Butler,
Production Designer: John Parker
Sound Designer: Brad Engleking
Music: Colin Stetson, Weyes Blood
Principal Cast: Tye Sheridan, Imogen Poots,
Caleb Landry Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Brett Butler
Costume Designer: Kameron Lennox,
Music Supervisor: Lauren Marie Mikus,
Casting Director: John Williams, Karmen Leech,
Co-Producer: Jon Wroblewski