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RED ROCKET

Sean Baker

Mikey Saber, a once successful porn actor, has arrived back to his home town in Texas with only the clothes he’s wearing, a bruised face and seemingly the resilience of a cockroach. After securing a couch to sleep on at his troubled ex-wife and mother in law’s house he starts to rebuild his life, extracting as much as he can out of the women around him in the process. A chance meeting with seventeen year old Strawberry at the local Donut Hole leads him to enthusiastically pursue her. The open-minded and bored Strawberry is charmed by Mikey and the prospect of life outside her small town, while he sees the chance to groom a sure-fire way back in to the porn industry.

This provocative glimpse into a pocket of modern America, set against the ever present oil refineries which hum and smoke in the background, features a captivating central performance from Simon Rex. As with his previous films, director Sean Baker (Tangerine, The Florida Project) layers the often bleak circumstances his characters face with moments of sun-drenched, pastel-coloured sweetness and once again opts for less seasoned or first-time actors to make up the authentic and talented supporting cast.

Notes by Saidhbh Ní Dhúlaing

130 mins, USA, 2021, Digital

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