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Kris and her sister live with her grandma in a poor neighborhood in Houston, TX while her mother serves a prison sentence. Abe, Kris’ neighbor, used to ride bulls on the Black rodeo circuit but, due to injuries now works on the circuit as the guy who deflects the bulls when riders fall off. Kris and her friends break into Abe’s house while he is gone, drink his booze, and trash his house. Rather than send her to juvie, he agrees to allow her to clean up his house and work for him in exchange. The film is about the relationship that develops between them. I really enjoyed the film. Rob Morgan who plays Abe and Amber Harvard (who plays Kris and appears to be a newcomer) are both strong actors who make great co-leads and have great chemistry. I also really liked the story; it is similar to The Florida Project in its depiction of the lives of people who live on the economic margins and like The Rider in its story about a bull rider who suddenly has to find a new identity. The screenplay wanders somewhat, and it lacks the depth of either of the two films described above but thumbs up for a compelling, sensitive, and believable examination of the ways the relationship changes both of them. (2020; 4 Stars).

About Gary Burkholder

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