NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Fly Away Film Review

By     get stories by email

Autistic Teen at Center of Poignant Coming-of-Age Drama

As the mother of a rapidly-maturing child with autism, Jeanne (Beth Broderick) finds herself torn between being overprotective and encouraging Mandy's (Ashley Rickards) independence. Presently, the rambunctious 15 year-old attends a regular public school with a program for special needs kids.

However, her principal recently suggested that Mandy might be better off institutionalized in the wake of a game-changing outburst which simply couldn't be ignored. For throwing a desk at a classmate during a temper tantrum means that she isn't just a danger to herself, but to others as well.

Even though it's clear that Mandy's becoming a greater and greater burden, Jeanne is reluctant to surrender the responsibility of raising her daughter to strangers. After all, as a single-mom she's made compromises in terms of her career, working at home in order to be available 24-7.

It doesn't help matters that her ex-husband Pete (J.R. Bourne) fails to engage with Mandy emotionally during visitation, and that he is already inclined to have her institutionalized. The trouble is that Jeanne has to admit that the right program could actually do her daughter a world of good, especially since there will ultimately come a day when her parents will no longer be around.

Thus, when to let go is the theme of Fly Away, a poignant coming-of-age drama directed by Janet Grillo. The mother of a child with disabilities, Ms. Grillo approached the semi-autobiographical adventure more as a consciousness-raising labor of love than as a money-making enterprise.

What makes the film special is its delicate handling of such sensitive subject-matter in realistic fashion without ever pandering via cheap sentimentality. The net result is a sobering slice of cinema verite which paints a plausible picture of a family dealing with the dilemma of how to care for a loved one when it's clear they're in over their heads.

An authentic tale of survival offering insight, hope and wings!

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 80 minutes

Distributor: New Video

To see a trailer Fly Away, visit:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Channing Tatum returns in the title role, but legendary director, Steven Soderbergh and several actors critical to the success of the original are missing.
Stephen Boss parlayed television success into a film career, appearing in Hairspray, Blades of Glory, Stomp the Yard 2 and, most notably, several installments of the Step Up franchise.
Top Ten DVD List for June 30, 2015, including Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, While We're Young, and The Decline of Western Civilization.
A gulf in the attitudes of two men had a profound effect on the orphans' fortunes. One is stable and successful and the other had many scrapes with the law.
Thai (arrow), a film by Henry Kro, 37th out of 1190 films from 86 countries. Features 16 year old Karbi heroine Rengsajir P Killingpi, daughter of acclaimed Diphu martial artist
Prairie Miller discusses the beat poets, punk rock, Elijah's journey from Frodo to hero worship, Auden, Blake, McCarthyism, and the radicalization of Thomas

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site