Fourteen

Dan Sallitt, USA, 2019

This film is about the relationship between two young women, and how good school friends can grow apart as life takes them in different directions. It’s very well-written and well-observed, really true to life.

We follow the growing up of the more sorted but less dominant Mara, who still has wayward Jo in her life – her best friend since school. Jo is beautiful, vivacious and exciting, but unreliable, self-centred and difficult to manage. Mara becomes less in awe of Jo and more self-assured as she matures.

I liked the quiet American-indie style, where nothing especially happens, but the characters are strong and keep you involved in the film, and the dialogue matters. The settings are important and put our characters in context. It’s really not about action, nor narrative (though there is an arc and a heart-breaking ending), but an exploration of being human.

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