well done character study mixed with a road trip film. the obvious highlight is the performance by huffman who transforms herself physically and mentally here. it’s a sad film and goes places you sorta wish it wouldn’t (towards the end), but it’s probably more touching and meaningful as a result. the interaction between huffman and her son seems realistic enough and they provide good foils for each other. the scene where they’re in the diner and he’s outside trying to get money and she’s inside talking with the native american guy is the most obvious scene to illuminate their differences, but it occurs throughout.
a couple minor quibbles: she refers to taking I-95 west, I-95 runs north and south. the beverly center isn’t technically in beverly hills, its address is in los angeles on beverly blvd. and i would consider it part of hollywood before beverly hills, but that’s just me. the hippie character refers to himself as a level 4 vegan – he doesn’t eat anything that casts a shadow. so far as i know that was originally used in an episode of the simpsons wherein lisa falls in love with a tree hugger. she comments on the fact that she’s a vegetarian and he scoffs. she comes back and says that she’s trying to become a vegan and he scoffs again and replies “i’m a level 5 vegan – i don’t eat anything that casts a shadow.” it’s possible this is a stock joke, but these are the only two times i’ve heard them. there was something else, but i forgot. good film.