(director/writer: Henry Nelson; cinematographer: Tatjana Krstevski; editor: Max Ethan Miller; music: Will Curry; cast: Tim Blake Nelson (Tom), Grant Harvey (Dark Mortius), Gus Birney (Millah), David Aaron Baker (Sam Wallace), Jared Abrahamson (Jose), Chloe Kerwin (Beth Anne); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Shannon Houchins, Vince Jolivette, Tim Blake Nelson; Prime Video/Strike Back Studios; 2023)

“Sensitive and thoughtful tale on parenting.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

In his debut feature film Henry Nelson (the son of Tim Blake Nelson) writes and directs this sensitive and thoughtful tale on parenting. It tells of a father and daughter, two lost souls, living off the grid, out of a rental storage shed (filled with clothes, supplies & furniture), using the bathroom facilities at the local stores and the one in the dorm in the college town of Oberlin, in rural Ohio, where they reside.

The uneven but vibrant film finds some success because of the sterling performances by Tim Blake Nelson as Tom, the disillusioned with the world AWOL in the 1990s Gulf War veteran father and, Beth Anne (Chloe Kerwin), his 16-year-old daughter, who only yearns to see more of the world and is frustrated dad won’t let her. She has lived on the fringe her whole life.

Tom earns cash by stealing different items. One night he steals bikes from around the campus, and in the morning sells them to the small-time operator Jose (Jared Abrahamson). He’s a lonely guy who wants Tom to be his friend, so does him favors.

On campus, Beth Anne makes contact with the privileged college female student Millah (Gus Birney), who introduces her to the pseudo-Satanist student collective and its charismatic leader (Grant Harvey). But it explores the relationship no further after Millah and Beth Anne kiss.

The lyrical film is filled with a zany humor, some well-shot chilly winter visuals by DP Tatjana Krstevski, and voices some interesting thoughts on parenting. Where it misses the mark is when the story crashes with a shocking resolution that has a different vibe than the other parts of the film.