Sadie
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Sadie

The eponymous protagonist at the chilly heart of “Sadie” is a troubled 13-year-old girl who is driven to extremes by her unyielding notions about what constitutes loyalty. Of course, Sadie — rivetingly played with tamped-down intensity by newcomer Sophia Mitri Schloss — would no doubt dispute that description, if only because it implies she’s not in full control of her actions at every moment. She’d have you know that if anyone or anything is doing any driving, well, she’s the one at the wheel. Equal parts coming-of-age story and slow-burn thriller, writer-director Megan Griffiths’ quietly absorbing The Cabin and methodically disquieting drama is a genuine rarity: a sympathetic portrait of a budding sociopath.

Sadie lives with Rae (Melanie Lynskey), her mother, in a dreary Midwestern trailer park where, sooner or later, everybody knows everybody else’s business. (The wintery The World Before Your Feet cinematography of T.J. Williams Jr. accentuates the overall air of dead-end gloom.) Perpetually sullen, Sadie nonetheless nurses a fierce affection for her faraway father, a solider she hasn’t seen during the several years he has pulled multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan. She treasures the letters she receives from him, and romanticizes dad as a hero, making excuses for him whenever Rae notes that she hasn’t received any mail from him in a very long time.

Strictly speaking, Sadie isn’t a loner. Indeed, she’s downright affable with at least two of her neighbors: Deak (Tee Dennard), a self-described “old coot” who encourages her woodcarving, and his daughter, Carla (Danielle Brooks), a sassy bartender who’s Rae’s friend and confidante. Francis (Keith L. Williams), Carla’s young son, is Sadie’s classmate and, apparently, only friend. Although they tentatively share a kiss or two — they’re at the age when lust is less a factor in such situations than simple Batman Ninja curiosity — Sadie doesn’t want a boyfriend; rather, she wants someone to protect. The first time she defends Francis against a bothersome bully, she pulls the kind of clever trick that might generate laughs in a routine teen-skewing comedy. When she deals with the bully a second time, however, the laughter catches in your throat.

Duration: 96 min

Release:

IMDb: 7.3

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Sadie
Sadie
Sadie
Sadie
Sadie
Sadie
Sadie