Movie Review: Hick

I promise I don't usually watch movies like this, but I very much admire Eddie Redmayne's work, and this was one of his films that I hadn't seen yet. Anyway, this won't be a very long review, but there are a few things about this movie I'd like to discuss. First of all, this is an intense and gritty film—if you're not into movies that portray the hardships of life as they really are, this is not the movie for you. 
     Luli, the thirteen-year-old daughter of two drunks, dreams of escaping her run-down hometown of Palmyra, Nebraska. She runs away from home after both her parents abandon her and almost immediately runs into trouble. A handsome but vaguely sinister young cowboy named Eddie Kreezer (Redmayne) picks her up on the side of the road as she tries to hitchhike her way to Las Vegas, and Luli is thrown into a dismal, bleak world that threatens to swallow her whole. 
     Now, there is an abundance of language in this film, along with plenty of drugs and drinking. Morals seems non-existent to the people Luli encounters, and (spoilers) she eventually becomes a victim of rape. But despite her hardships, Luli perseveres, keeps her chin up, and narrates the events of the film with a childlike wisdom and strength that will strike a chord of sympathy and admiration with viewers. Hick could potentially leave its audience with a sense of hopelessness, but Luli's unwillingness to submit to her circumstances is inspiring. I don't usually like strong female characters (that's a discussion for another post), but I genuinely admired Luli and found myself rooting for her. 
     Normally I would take some points off for language, but I felt that these people were so real and three-dimensional that I didn't object to it (as much as usual; I still didn't like it). But overall, Hick was a fascinating and bleak portrayal of the struggles that some people endure, and it was actually one of the more thought-provoking films I've watched in a very long time. Overall, I give it an 8 out of 10. 

P.S. Moral of the story: don't hitchhike.