Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Heartbreak and Hope Vanessa Hudgens Stands out in 'Gimme Shelter,' but the Movie Loses Its Focus

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Heartbreak and Hope Vanessa Hudgens Stands out in 'Gimme Shelter,' but the Movie Loses Its Focus

Article excerpt

Inspired by real stories, "Gimme Shelter" is an earnest movie about a 16-year-old girl who musters the courage to leave her abusive, drug-addicted mother. She even manages to find the dad she never met, let alone knew.

But that's just the beginning; she's a long way from living happily ever after. It turns out Agnes "Apple" Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens) is pregnant and unwilling to take the advice of her Wall Street executive father.

"It's time that you turn the page on this. Put it all behind you, so you can move forward," Tom Fitzpatrick (Brendan Fraser) counsels.

In other words, have an abortion.

Apple makes it to a clinic but bolts and lands back on the street, homeless, hungry, desperate and convinced that "God don't care about me." A kindly priest (James Earl Jones) tries to prove otherwise, introducing her to a woman who converted her residence into a shelter for pregnant teens with nowhere else to turn.

But Apple's mother will not relinquish her hold on her, her father is hovering on the margins, and Apple's roommate tempts with a plan to move out of the safe confines of the house in this movie allowing Ms. Hudgens to shake off the last vestiges of her "High School Musical" days.

True, she has been doing that with roles in releases such as "Spring Breakers" and "Sucker Punch." Here, though, she sheds any hint of glamour -- she chops her hair, wears no makeup and sports rings in her nose and lip, a tattoo flaring from her neck and a pregnant belly -- and it serves her well.

She gives herself a stony look, devoid of joy or optimism, speaks with a streetwise accent, cries on occasion with conviction and walks like a girl who hasn't had a break -- ever. "I am done being passed off as someone's case number!" she vows, recounting a miserable childhood of being shuffled through foster homes and case workers before circling back into her mother's neglectful care. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.