Mickey and the Bear

On its surface, Annabelle Attanasio's Mickey and the Bear appears to be your standard, gloomy, coming-of-age tale, its focus Mickey, a wise-beyond-her-years teenager-on-the-brink-of adulthood from a poor family in a small Montana town. Amid working (her taxidermy job reflects her impulse to fix things) and hanging with her loser boyfriend, she takes care of her war vet dad Hank. He's the Bear, wounded both physically (the cause of his opioid addiction) and mentally (he has some righteous PTSD). James Badge Dale plays the role like a violin, but the strength of Mickey and the Bear lies in the performance of relative newcomer Camila Morrone, who, as Mickey, carries the weight of the film in her soulful eyes and enigmatic smile. When Mickey is finally pushed to action, it's a relief, suffusing Mickey and the Bear with a feeling of hope amid the darkness and transforming a good film into a great one.

by Leilani Polk
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Annabelle Attanasio
James Badge Dale, Camila Morrone, Calvin Demba