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Home > Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020): A Review

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020): A Review

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020): A Review

Uncomfortably Real

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is about two high school girls who live in a small town in Pennsylvania. Autumn has an unwanted pregnancy and wants an abortion. With no support from her family she goes on her own. Skylar, Autumn’s cousin, helps her plan and goes with her to New York for the abortion. 

Film Review

Never Rarely Sometimes Always has a calm pace, and one that is very easy to follow. The tone is real and slow. The realness in this movie makes it unsettling, especially with  the emphasis on watching the actions of the two high schoolers. Nothing is dramatized, and everything relies on the subtle actions of the two main characters. With the setting taking place at first in Pennsylvania, you can tell the contrast in environment and the way people interact when the girls go to New York.

The vibe of the whole movie was very disappointing. Sad wouldn’t be the correct term here because of all the choices that the characters make, including the ones that didn’t make any. Hittman’s movie itself isn’t disappointing; it’s the theme that it has, the reason for the movie and what it represents.


The characters and the acting in Never Rarely Sometimes Always play a more significant part in the movie than anything else. The plot is good, but without the crucial actions from the characters, there wouldn’t be any feeling to it. Putting different characters in the same scenario wouldn’t feel right. So, the chosen characters along with how little they appear works out fine. They serve their purpose filling in the dynamics before moving the story along.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020): A Review

Because of the settings in Never Rarely Sometimes Always, the characters that interact with the two main characters fit well. For instance, someone in Pennsylvania would theoretically be more approachable rather than someone in New York. The actress, Sidney Flanigan, who played Autumn portrayed her emotions well. It felt raw and believable, from her actions to her unwanted pregnancy and how she acted when she felt all alone. The same goes for the actress for Skylar, Talia Ryder, with how she was there for Autumn and vice versa.


The aesthetic to Hittman’s movie was devoid of bright colors, which played with the overall theme of the movie. Since Hittman was trying to evoke the sense of what happens in the real world, having the colors seemingly dull plays really well. When one goes around in their everyday life, no one takes notice of the vibrancy of the world. The cinematography and the placing of the cameras make it feel intimate, along with the fact that the dull colors show how the topic being brought out is serious.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always’s camera placements were good as well. The close up shots of the characters’ actions when talking or interacting with adults felt too close to avoid. Even when it is a wide shot, the camera captures the feeling of being uncomfortable in an unfamiliar setting. Then some things were centered, so that the audience doesn’t miss any of what was being done.

Final Rating

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a good movie overall. Definitely not rewatch worthy, but is worth seeing if one is more interested in contemporary movies. Even with the meaning behind it, this movie is for a specific audience that many won’t agree with. Stream it at home on Peacock.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020): A Review

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) Official Focus Features Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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A nerd that knows a little about everything. Passionate about writing and sharing thoughts from TV shows to movies and everything in between.