Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a low-budget film similar in style to the writer-director’s previous projects; it’s quiet, intimate, coldly realistic, and focuses on female characters. The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Neo-Realism. Over the next few months, the story of two dogged teenage girls garnered a lot of critical attention and scored a spate of accolades and nominations.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always follows the journey of seventeen-year-old Autumn (newcomer Sidney Flanigan) who learns that she is pregnant but can’t get an abortion in her state without her parents’ consent. After a few failed attempts at terminating the pregnancy herself, Autumn tells her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), who instantly jumps to her support. Skylar organises their clandestine trip to New York City, where the girls face obstacle after obstacle. Nevertheless, the two stay close in their solidarity despite the seeming impossibility of the task before them. The film is not interested in the typical tropes and melodramatic plot twists that often find their way into teen movies and instead tells a mature and distressingly authentic coming-of-age story.
Here are some of the most powerful stills from this deeply affecting film (cinematographer: Hélène Louvart).