Yesterday a discussion arose about Eliza Hittman‘s Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features), and the New York Film Critics Circle having handed it awards for Best Actress (Sidney Flanigan) and Best Screenplay (Hittman).
I’m mentioning this because “friendo” offered an interesting thought: “It’s telling, to me, that no one in liberal media, including all the critics who championed Never Rarely, seemed to understand a fundamental aspect of the film, which is that the heroine is quite ambivalent about having an abortion.
“It’s not a ‘pro-life’ movie, but it does contain an element of that. But, of course, that dimension of it — the very thing that makes it complex — has to be denied by the very people who claim to love the film, because it doesn’t mesh with the the general pro-choice agenda.
“It’s not like I really like watching dead-serious art films about abortion. But I think once in a while they awaken your perceptions, and this one, with its bracing message that literally no one in the critical community got, did that for me more than 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
“That element in Never Rarely…Sidney Flanigan‘s profound ambivalence about what she’s about to go through, her deep desire not to do it, because there is in fact a live human in there…this element is literally the only drama in the film. That’s what’s so hilarious about the woke film-critic-industrial-annoyance-complex not getting it.
“What do they think the movie is about? If their left-wing boilerplate interpretation were accurate, it might as well be a movie about two teenagers hopping a bus to go to New York City to pay $500 in unpaid parking tickets.”
HE to friendo: “I honestly never considered any kind of vague pro-life undercurrent. I thought Flanigan’s character was just about buried trauma, fear of the chilly unknown, anxiety, uncertainty, wounded feelings. Why ever would she want to keep the child? I mean, she’s hiding her pregnancy from her parents, and Lord knows an expectant mother needs a serious job or a trust fund plus a serious partner with which to have a child. She has nothing.”
Friendo responds: “The film is about all the things you say, and no, she doesn’t want to keep her child. The movie is not, strictly speaking, ‘pro-life.’ Politically, it’s staunchly pro-choice. But it’s my feeling that of the millions of abortions that have been performed over the last 50 years (roughly speaking, the post-Roe v. Wade era), a great many women who have had them — maybe the vast majority — have done so with underlying feelings of regret, loss, etc., feelings that are either small or (sometimes) quite large and overwhelming.
“The truth is that having an abortion has messed a lot of women up. But it’s not talked about in liberal culture. And women don’t talk about it, at least not to men. But it’s there. And I believe it’s there in that movie.”