Format: DVD from Cherry Valley Public Library through interlibrary loan on basement television.
Of the new movies added to the 1001 Movies list, Never Rarely Sometimes Always was the one that I looked forward to the least. This has nothing to do with this being a “woman’s” movie, but simply that it’s a difficult subject. Any relatively regular reader of this blog is going to be roughly sure of my politics in general, so it’s not going to be surprising that I am, for instance, pro-choice when it comes to the abortion question. That said, it’s not a topic that I love talking about. For me, it’s a bodily autonomy issue and a conversation where I don’t generally belong. So, a movie that is essentially “the abortion question” in the person of one young woman is a film I feel only vaguely qualified to discuss.
But that’s what we’ve got when it comes to Never Rarely Sometimes Always. Autumn Callahan (Sidney Flanigan), in rural Pennsylvania, discovers that she is about 10 weeks pregnant. Rather than being given any real counselling, she’s shown an anti-abortion video and talked to briefly about the wonders of parenthood and of adoption. She learns that she is unable to get an abortion in Pennsylvania without parental notification or approval, and her juvenile attempts at causing a miscarriage don’t work. Her third option is to go elsewhere. Eventually, her Skylar (Talia Ryder) susses out the truth. She steals cash from the grocery store where the two of them work and they buy bus tickets to New York city so that Autumn can have an abortion.