Review: ‘Mickey And The Bear’ Two Powerhouse Performances Elevate a Story of a Teen at the Crossroads of Her Life

Mickey and the Bear
Credit: Conor Murphy

A young woman wakes up in a haggard trailer, cooks breakfast, loads prescription pills into a cup and smokes a cigarette while waiting for her father to wake up. A knock at the door from the Sheriff takes her to the police station where her dad is laughing with the other officers. This place is his second home. The Sheriff lets him go without any fees. This is life for Mickey and Hank.

Mickey and the Bear

Credit: Conor Murphy

First time feature director Annabelle Attanasio paints a vivid world of life in Anaconda, Montana, a small town where life tends to stay simple. While beautiful we can feel it’s trappings around Mickey wants more but is struggling to find her way as she takes care of her PTSD stricken father Hank.

She attempts to balance her everyday life with work, school and taking care of her father, Mickey (Camila Morrone) looks outward flirting with the idea of moving to San Diego. Her boyfriend dreams of having babies and working for his father while making a home for themselves just down the road from where they lay in bed. Her father Hank, a decorated Marine who served in the Iraq War who lost his wife to cancer lives life is by the drink and by his prescriptions.

mickey and the bear
Credit: Conor Murphy

The story lies squarely on the shoulders of Camila Morrone and James Dale Badge who both give career performances and elevate this story into a truly heartbreaking story about family. Often times their chemistry feels so raw and natural that I found myself believing this was a documentary.

The film manages to avoid cliches by finding honest ways to develop the characters and the giving them real decisions and problems without always a clear solution. Under the confident direction of writer/director Attanasio gives a brilliant film that is certain to have people talking awards.

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