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Note: This is a review I did for New Age Mama. All disclaimers apply.

I chose to review this movie partially because of the premise, and partially because I loved co-lead Christopher Marqeutte from his days on Joan of Arcadia and Strong Medicine. The film tells the story of an abused young woman (Rumor Willis) and an autistic young man who is now alone in the world after losing his grandmother.

Willis’ Maya takes Marquette’s Duncan on a journey to find his father. Along the way, Duncan occasionally frustrates Maya with his obsession with routine and pattern, although she is also impressed with his ability to draw maps. The two form a friendship that teaches both of them lessons, hopefully leading them both to better lives.

I loved the simplicity of the film. It was more of a character piece instead of relying on a big, intricate plot. You learn a bit about autism without being beat over the head with some big point. At the same time, you also get to see Maya struggle to pull herself out of an abusive childhood that led her to an abusive relationship.

The acting was great, and I was particular surprised with Willis. I’d never really seen anything she’d been in, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. She surpassed expectations and I was surprised to learn she’s a great singer as well in a scene where her character ends up on stage. Marquette was compelling as well, able to go from big dramatic outbursts to calm, matter-of-fact moments easily.

While a couple of moments (particularly those involving the parents) might seem a bit cliche, they still had a ring of truth to them that I’m sure anyone who has been in those situations will relate to. I’d definitely recommend this one to people who like simple films that focus on getting inside a character’s head.