The Festival du nouveau cinéma is a terrific event for filmmakers to showcase both their talent and passion on the big screen. Annabelle Attanasio, known for appearing in the CBS series Bull, has made her feature directorial debut with Mickey and the Bear, which also stars a brilliant cast of actors such as Camila Morrone, James Badge Dale, Ben Rosenfield, Rebecca Henderson, and Calvin Demba. After having its Canadian premiere at the festival, it is a great coming-of-age drama that will be sure to show everyone why she’s a filmmaker we should all look out for in the future!
The film revolves around a teenage girl named Mickey (Morrone) who lives with her veteran father Hank (Dale) in the small town of Montana. Her dad is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being in Iraq, and her mother has sadly passed away from cancer. Mickey is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life, while making sure her troubled father is okay. She feels a huge responsibility to be taking care of her only family, but she also needs to decide if she will eventually be leaving her home to go to college or stay in Montana forever.
Camila Morrone has not starred in many films, but you will want to see her in more features after admiring her amazing performance in Mickey and the Bear. As a coming-of-age story, you really feel the insecurity she has about her future, and that’s something we can all relate to. As the film goes on, she starts to mature as a person with the help of a mesmerizing script written by Attanasio. Her problematic relationship with her father is one of the most compelling aspects of the entire movie, because it adds a lot of complexity to these two characters. The director does a great job showing the emotional side of a dysfunctional family, while still treating it with respect.
Attanasio really knows how to perfectly utilize the camera as a strong tool to capture Mickey’s life on screen. Every scene is beautifully shot with the help of Conor Murphy’s remarkable skills as a cinematographer. The filmmakers are able to portray the harsh reality of what it’s like to be a teenager living a life like this, and it’s quite sad. The director’s screenplay elevates a straightforward premise with great dialogue and pacing. Some of the supporting characters are admittedly in the background with not a lot of development, but they still do a pretty good job adding something important to Mickey’s growth from start to finish.
As Annabelle Attanasio’s directorial debut, this is a wonderful film that makes you look forward to her next feature. You can’t help but be excited for what she will do next in her career as you start to appreciate her skills as both a director and a writer. It is one of the most memorable coming-of-age dramas with a compelling script, brilliant cinematography, and outstanding performances from Camila Morrone and James Badge Dale. Mickey and the Bear is another prime example of marvellous filmmaking.