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Review:  Teen rebellion and survival tactics keep ‘About Scout’ intriguing

Review: Teen rebellion and survival tactics keep ‘About Scout’ intriguing
India Ennenga as Scout in “About Scout.”
(Breaking Glass Pictures)

A fairy tale of runaway rebellion and survival emerges from the Texas dust in writer-director Laurie Weltz’s “About Scout.” The film is a mother-daughter collaboration, as Weltz’s daughter, India Ennenga, contributes the story and stars as Scout, a winsome slip of a pink-haired girl tasked with mothering her younger sister, Lulu (Onata Aprile).

Scout has developed an arsenal of clever schemes for snatching the things she needs — food, shelter, protection. She’s been dealt a bum hand in life — their dad’s a carny with a pregnant, religious, meth-head girlfriend (Nikki Reed), and all that remains of mom is the memory of a junkie. The girls live with their invalid great-grandmother (Ellen Burstyn), but Child Protective Services has taken an interest.

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When Dad picks up Lulu to cash in on the welfare checks, Scout hits the road with Sam (James Frecheville), a suicidal young man from a local mental institution, for a “Bonnie and Clyde"-like crime spree and little sister rescue mission. The film is most interesting when exploring Scout’s preternaturally cunning tactics for car stealing, hotel sneaking and food snatching.

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They make a fine pair of traveling partners, Sam with nothing to live for and Scout with nothing to lose. Ennenga carries the picture with a relaxed magnetism and is supported by the supporting starry cast, including Danny Glover and Jane Seymour. “About Scout” is a fantasy of escape rooted in the harshly lit realities of life.

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‘About Scout’

No rating

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Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood


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