Rebecca Thomas' feature-length debut features a standout performance from Julia Garner
Is it possible to get pregnant through simply listening on a tape recorder to a cover version of Blondie’s ‘Hanging on the Telephone’? That’s what 15-year-old Mormon Rachel (Julia Garner) believes, and consequently she runs away from her family’s farm in southern Utah to the bright lights of Las Vegas, hoping to track down the song’s male vocalist.
Escaping with Rachel is her teenage brother Mr Will (Liam Aiken), whom their parents wrongly suspect of incest.
The debut feature of twentysomething Rebecca Thomas, who herself grew up in the Mormon faith, this US indie is a decent coming-of-age yarn, adorned with some magic realist flourishes.
The writer-director is guilty of wrapping up too many plot strands in order to provide an upbeat ending, but she effectively contrasts the film’s rural and urban locations, while newcomer Garner – glimpsed in Martha Marcy May Marlene – could be a real find: her angelic-looking Rachel is an interesting mixture of disarming innocence and fierce determination.
Selected release from Fri 27 Jul.