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Critics reviews
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Eliza Hittman United States, 2020
Hittman’s minimalism mutates from abstracted avoidance into a kind of strength, if not always a consummate method. If I sometimes felt frustrated with the film’s vagueness, I could not refute its depiction of the way social strictures drain women’s lives.
July 02, 2020
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Even in these scenes, Hittman maintains the film’s tone of harsh reality. Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a serious film about the difficulties young women face in getting an abortion in America.
July 02, 2020
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Flanigan and Ryder pull the movie off with impossible subtlety, and Hittman matches them beat for beat.
June 11, 2020
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Remaining almost painfully close to the specificity of an American experience she knows, understands and expresses so well, Hittman has put the bar very high.
April 26, 2020
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It’s a movie whose political significance works in tandem with its deep interest in the human element.
April 13, 2020
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Hittman lays out the stakes of a moral argument around women’s bodies.
April 13, 2020
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One byproduct of its understated approach is that it never quite detonates the way you might expect it to—it doesn’t have the wild, outrageous tonal peaks of a satirical comedy like Alexander Payne’s Citizen Ruth or the provocative, borderline horror-movie imagery of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Its achievement is closer in tone to the observational solidarity of Varda or the thoughtful Americana of Kelly Reichardt.
April 03, 2020
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Hittman rests the film almost entirely on that face (have you ever seen this many close-ups of  a single actor?) and about the collaboration between the director, the actor, and cinematographer Helene Louvert, whose handheld 16-mm camera is synced to every flicker of inner life and every change of light.
April 03, 2020
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Refusing to grandstand, Hittman has made a vital film about the perils of female adolescence in a country rank with hypocrisy, hysteria, and worse about sexually active young women.
March 13, 2020
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Victimhood makes Never Rarely Sometimes Always the latest example of politicized filmmaking as the Hollywood norm. Its message overwhelms storytelling craft and reason.
March 13, 2020
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For the sake of protocol, the doctors ask Autumn to state the name of the procedure before the anesthesia kicks in. At the end of this journey, it seems like such a humble request. But in that dissonance, Hittman beautifully illustrates how much is contained within this seemingly straightforward statement.
March 13, 2020
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Information doesn’t just facilitate a procedure that might feel daunting to young viewers, it also steers Autumn’s orbit and alludes to the film’s grander scope and emotional intentions.
March 12, 2020
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A low-key knockout.
March 12, 2020
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Riveting when it stays within Autumn’s point of view, the film wields a heavy hand with the bigger picture of family, authority and most of all, men-in-general.
March 12, 2020
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With her third feature, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the writer and director Eliza Hittman accomplishes something extraordinary: she expands her method and her style into a vision of the world.
March 12, 2020
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Never florid, rarely contrived, sometimes painful, always true.
March 10, 2020
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By refusing to grandstand, Hittman, who wrote and directed, has made the most moving, cleareyed American fiction movie about a woman’s right to abortion since “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982).
January 31, 2020
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Pellerin is perfectly cast as a too-cool teenager (“Do you girls like live music?” “I freaking love New York”), and his scene-stealing karaoke rendition of “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)” by A Flock of Seagulls is one of the more memorable moments of the film.
January 29, 2020
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To describe Never Rarely Sometimes Always as a PSA seems to cheapen the empathy and scope of Hittman’s film. But given the times we live in, Autumn’s plaintive cry against the patriarchy through that opening song’s lyrics—“He makes me do things I don’t want to do / He makes me say things I don’t want to say”—feels like nothing short of a wake-up call.
January 28, 2020
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Eliza Hittman’s understated film Never Sometimes Rarely Always may at first seem galaxies away from the Ross brothers’ maximalism, but here too an image has its own DNA and emotional intelligence.
January 25, 2020
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