Never Rarely Sometimes Always

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Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Never Rarely Sometimes Always.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEliza Hittman
Written byEliza Hittman
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyHélène Louvart
Edited byScott Cummings
Music byJulia Holter
Production
companies
Distributed byFocus Features (United States)
Universal Pictures (International)[1]
Release dates
  • January 24, 2020 (2020-01-24) (Sundance)
  • March 13, 2020 (2020-03-13) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes
Countries
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget<$5 million[2]
Box office$407,807[3][1]

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a 2020 British-American drama film written and directed by Eliza Hittman. It stars Sidney Flanigan (in her acting debut), Talia Ryder, Théodore Pellerin, Ryan Eggold and Sharon Van Etten. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2020. It was also selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize.[4][5][6] The film was released in the United States on March 13, 2020, by Focus Features. It received widespread acclaim from critics.

Plot[edit]

Seventeen-year-old Autumn Callahan suspects she is pregnant and goes to a crisis pregnancy center. At the center, she takes a drug store test that confirms that she is pregnant. She gets told that she 10 weeks along and is given literature on adoption and is shown an anti-abortion video.

After learning that she is unable to get an abortion in Pennsylvania without parental consent, she tries to induce a miscarriage by swallowing pills and punching herself in the stomach. When those methods fail, she confides in her cousin, Skylar, that she is pregnant. Skylar steals cash from the grocery store where they work, and the two buy bus tickets to New York City.

On the bus they meet Jasper, a young man who is persistently interested in Skylar even though she tries to blow him off.

At the Planned Parenthood clinic, Autumn learns that the crisis pregnancy center lied to her about how far along she was and that she is actually 18 weeks pregnant. Though she is still able to get an abortion, she must go to a secondary clinic the following morning in order to have the abortion performed.

Autumn and Skylar spend an uncomfortable night riding the subway and playing games at an arcade. The following morning at the clinic, Autumn learns that a second-trimester abortion is a two-day procedure and that paying for the abortion will wipe out most of her funds. The counselor also asks her a series of questions about her sexual partners which reveal that Autumn's partners have been physically and sexually abusive.

Out of money, Skylar realizes the two have no way of going home. As Autumn refuses to let Skylar call either of their mothers, Skylar reaches out to Jasper, who takes them bowling and to karaoke. At the end of the night, Skylar asks Jasper to loan them the money for their bus tickets, and he agrees. Skylar leaves with Jasper to find an ATM, and Autumn later goes looking for them. She finds them kissing. Realizing Skylar is only going along with it for the loan, Autumn discreetly grabs Skylar's hand to comfort her.

In the morning, Autumn goes to her appointment and has the abortion. Autumn and Skylar go to a restaurant, where Skylar asks her questions about the procedure, but Autumn remains vague. The two ride a bus back to Pennsylvania.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In April 2019, it was announced Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder, Théodore Pellerin, Ryan Eggold and Sharon Van Etten had joined the cast of the film, with Eliza Hittman directing from a screenplay she wrote. Adele Romanski and Sara Murphy produced the film under their Pastel Productions banner, while Rose Garnett, Tim Headington, Elika Portnoy and Alex Orlovsky executive produced the film under their BBC Films and Tango Entertainment banners respectively. Focus Features was slated to distribute.[7]

Principal photography began in February 2019.[8]

Release[edit]

Never Rarely Sometimes Always had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2020.[9] It was released in the United States on March 13, 2020.[10] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released on video on demand on April 3, 2020.[11] Focus debated re-releasing the film theatrically but was concerned about competition once theaters re-opened.[12] It was released through video on demand in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2020, after being initially planned for a theatrical release.[13]

Reception[edit]

In theaters, Never Rarely Sometimes Always grossed $16,565.[14]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 99% based on 233 reviews, with an average rating of 8.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Powerfully acted and directed, Never Rarely Sometimes Always reaffirms writer-director Eliza Hittman as a filmmaker of uncommon sensitivity and grace."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 92 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[16]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Sundance Film Festival February 1, 2020 U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Neo-Realism Eliza Hittman Won [17]
U.S. Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize Nominated
Berlin International Film Festival March 1, 2020 Golden Bear Nominated [18]
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize Won
Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Awards July 2, 2020 Best Picture Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [19]
Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Best Female Director Eliza Hittman Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards December 13, 2020 Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Won [20]
IndieWire Critics Poll December 14, 2020 Best Film Never Rarely Sometimes Always Runner-up [21]
Best Director Eliza Hittman 3rd Place
Best Cinematography Hélène Louvart 5th Place
Best Screenplay Eliza Hittman 3rd Place
New York Film Critics Circle Awards December 18, 2020 Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Won [22]
Best Screenplay Eliza Hittman Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association December 20, 2020 Best Screenplay Runner-up [23]
Florida Film Critics Circle December 21, 2020 Breakout Award Sidney Flanigan Won [24]
Chicago Film Critics Association December 21, 2020 Most Promising Performer Won [25]
Best Original Screenplay Eliza Hittman Won
Alliance of Women Film Journalists January 4, 2021 Best Film Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [26]
Best Woman Director Eliza Hittman Nominated
Best Woman's Screenwriter Nominated
Best Woman's Breakthrough Performance Sidney Flanigan Won
National Society of Film Critics January 9, 2021 Best Actress 3rd Place [27]
Best Screenplay Eliza Hittman Won
Best Film Never Rarely Sometimes Always 3rd Place
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards January 11, 2021 Breakthrough Artist Sidney Flanigan Nominated [28]
Gotham Awards January 11, 2021 Best Feature Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [29]
Breakthrough Actor Sidney Flanigan Nominated
St. Louis Film Critics Association Awards January 17, 2021 Best Scene Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [30]
San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle January 18, 2021 Best Picture Nominated [31]
Best Director Eliza Hittman Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society January 18, 2021 Best Picture Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [32]
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Online Film Critics Society January 25, 2021 Best Picture Never Rarely Sometimes Always 4th Place [33]
[34]
Best Director Eliza Hittman Nominated
Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Talia Ryder Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Eliza Hittman Nominated
National Board of Review January 26, 2021 Top 10 Independent Films Never Rarely Sometimes Always Won [35]
Breakthrough Performance Sidney Flanigan Won
New York Film Critics Online January 26, 2021 Top 10 Films Never Rarely Sometimes Always Won [36]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards January 27, 2021 Best Original Song in an Independent Film Sharon Van Etten (for "Staring At A Mountain") Nominated [37]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association February 8, 2021 Best Youth Performance Sidney Flanigan Nominated [38]
Talia Ryder Nominated
Seattle Film Critics Association Awards February 15, 2021 Best Picture Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [39]
Best Actress in a Leading Role Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Talia Ryder Nominated
Best Youth Performance Nominated
British Independent Film Awards February 18, 2021 Best International Independent Film Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [40]
International Cinephile Society February 20, 2021 Best Picture Never Rarely Sometimes Always 11th Place [41]
Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Talia Ryder Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Eliza Hittman Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association March 5, 2021 Standout Performance by an Actor or Actress 23 or Under Sidney Flanigan Won [42]
Best Female Director Eliza Hittman Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards March 7, 2021 Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated [43]
Best Young Actor/Actress Talia Ryder Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Eliza Hittman Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle March 7, 2021 Best Movie About Women Never Rarely Sometimes Always Runner-up [44]
Best Movie By A Woman Nominated
Best Woman Storyteller (Screenwriting Award) Eliza Hittman Won
Courage in Filmmaking Runner-up
Georgia Film Critics Association March 12, 2021 Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated [45]
Breakthrough Award Nominated
Austin Film Critics Association March 19, 2021 Best Film Never Rarely Sometimes Always 5th Place [46]
Best Director Eliza Hittman Nominated
The Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Dorian Awards April 18, 2021 Best Screenplay Eliza Hittman Nominated [47]
Best Unsung Film Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated
Best Film Performance — Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated
“We’re Wilde About You!” Rising Star Award Nominated
Film Independent Spirit Awards April 22, 2021 Best Feature Adele Romanski and Sara Murphy Nominated [48]
Best Director Eliza Hittman Nominated
Best Female Lead Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Best Supporting Female Talia Ryder Nominated
Best Screenplay Eliza Hittman Nominated
Best Cinematography Hélène Louvart Nominated
Best Editing Scott Cummings Nominated
Gold Derby Awards N/A Best Picture Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nominated [49]
Best Actress Sidney Flanigan Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Eliza Hittman Nominated
Best Breakthrough Performer Sidney Flanigan Nominated

References[edit]

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External links[edit]