Expired August 13, 2021 3:59 AM
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Boston-born filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell (In The Soup) returns to the area for this New Bedford shot neo-realist fairy tale. Billie and Nico, two young, resourceful kids played by Rockwell’s own children, live in a squalid apartment with their loving but unpredictable alcoholic father (an excellent Will Patton). Though rough, this life is all the pair have known and it’s better than shacking up with their selfish mother (Parsons). When their father’s antics get him send to rehab, however, and the kids wind up spoiling the summer vacation of their mother and her sleazy boyfriend, they find that they must fend for themselves even more than usual. When the boyfriend crosses a terrible line, Billie and Nico hook up with a neighborhood street kid (Watkins) and run away from home. Thrust into an often uncaring world, this trio confronts violence and danger at every turn but also encounters moments of sublime beauty and unprecedented freedom. Enhanced by an absolutely stand-out performance by Lana Rockwell as Billie, SWEET THING is gorgeously shot on 16mm film and evokes a contemporary fable that plays something like Shameless meets Peter Pan as directed by Wim Wenders.

"A lively, bittersweet meditation on an impoverished childhood that is still rich in innocence and imagination… With verve and vitality it pays a dreamy-eyed retrospective debt to films past, and largely due to the beguiling performance from Rockwell’s own daughter Lana, ultimately delivers a moving, tousled journey of discovery…" – Jessica Kiang, Variety

"Alexandre Rockwell’s Sweet Thing is one of the most powerful new films I’ve seen in years. The whole film has soul, but the fact that Rockwell didn’t go the easy way and shoot it on digital, but instead (like a real filmmaker) shot it on black and white 16mm film makes it a divine soul. But it’s the performance of his young leading lady Lana Rockwell that haunts you when the movie is over. Like the way she carries her dignity in her shoulders as she precariously maneuvers herself through the grueling tribulations that is her life, is how she carries both the film and the viewer through Rockwell’s terrain." – Quentin Tarantino

  • Year
  • Runtime
    91 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Premiere Run
  • Director
    Alexandre Rockwell
  • Cast
    Lana Rockwell, Nico Rockwell, Jabari Watkins, M.L. Josepher, Karyn Parsons, Will Patton