Sundance Film Festival favorite Eliza Hittman has been steadily crafting intimate, shot-on-film, coming-of-age stories for more than a decade. Her first feature, “A Lot Like Love,” stormed Park City in 2013, followed by 2017’s coming-out drama “Beach Rats” with Harris Dickinson. She’s since directed episodes of the HBO series “High Maintenance,” and for Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.” Now, Hittman is finally coming back to the Sundance Film Festival with a new feature as writer/director, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.” Focus Features will open the movie Friday, March 13, following its January 24 bow in Park City. Watch the first trailer below.
Here’s the synopsis: “The film is an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) and her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder) embark across state lines to New York City on a fraught journey of friendship, bravery and compassion.”
The emotional trailer is set to the 2019 epic power ballad “Seventeen” — itself about coming of age, and one of the best songs of the year — from singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten, who also stars in this movie. Van Etten previously made her screen debut as one of Dr. Percy’s prisoners in “The OA” on Netflix, but this is her first time on the big screen. Also, another fun fact for fans of tortured indie songstresses: classically trained artist Julia Holter provides the score for “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.”
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Also starring in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is Ryan Eggold (“BlacKkKlansman”), and Canadian actor Théodore Pellerin, who recently enjoyed his biggest break yet on Showtime’s dark comedy “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” opposite Kirsten Dunst. Pellerin also shines in Philippe Lesage’s Canadian film “Genesis,” which opened stateside earlier this year.
Hittman’s previous accolades as a filmmaker include the Directing Award in the Dramatic competition at Sundance in 2017 for “Beach Rats,” which tells the story of a closeted teenager’s search for love and self-expression in Brooklyn. “It Felt Like Love,” meanwhile, earned multiple Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, and told the crushing tale of a young woman’s sexual awakening.
“Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always” is produced by Tango Entertainment, BBC Films, Mutressa Movies, and Pastel Productions.