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Story: A girl in her teen years takes care of a brother who is about to die with her mother and establishes friendship with an activist.

Review: Suncoast is one of those movies that have all the characteristics of an excellent watch. However, it does not meet the expectations fully since different themes like death, family, religion and issues concerning adolescence do not gel properly creating a sense of disappointment due to failure to move above the confines. The film is touching in certain scenes and this creates an emotional connection which though cannot be said about the overall view expressed here. Despite having some great acting, the direction and story seem not to be worthy of them. The movie gives us insight into how families’ dynamics change during these difficult times when they are faced with almost imminent loss in their lives.

It is centered on Doris (Nico Parker) as a teenager living with her mother and brother Max (Cree Kawa), whose health has been steadily deteriorating leading him to his end days. Kristine (Laura Linney), their mother, has had her strength tested over time through taking care of Max (Cree Kawa), but she still finds herself unable to let go or relax a bit because both she and Doris have undergone several trials together until they reached where they presently are. While away from home Kristine leaves Max under care by Doris as she only asks her daughter for help when she cannot make it back on time and vice versa; therefore there exists some sort of distance between them as Kristine fails to understand her teenage daughter’s evolving needs. Ultimately Max ends up being taken by his mom into hospice for better medical support services where he will live out his last days within those walls as Paul (Woody Harrelson) spots Doris outside protesting in what seems like an anti-vaccine rally though Paul could also just be against any form of compulsory vaccination but definitely believes that people should have the right to decide for themselves.

This drama is partially based on Laura Chinn’s own life and becomes watchable mainly because of the superb acting by the cast. As a mother, Laura Linney gives a great performance as an overwhelmed and headstrong woman who has to look after her daughter and son. In this connection Nico Parker depicts Doris’s character in her sensitive way also shows that she only has minimal time left for herself after school hours and when caring for Max at home. Unfortunately, lack of perception on her mother’s part has kept her from realizing that she possesses beauty inside. Paul the activist played by Woody Harrelson brings humor throughout the movie as he supports his main characters well.

The film does not offer moments which could have given more insight about Kristine with all her ongoing frustrations. Though it would appear like teenage scenes featuring Doris & friends in Suncoast are authentic glimpses into teenage lives. The story makes an attempt to land itself within its viewers’ hearts but because of narration failure, it cannot be described as a powerful movie. The result is rather poor when matters come to an end with this picture; therefore, its general effect on viewers is mediocre at best.

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