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Josh Wiggins and Sophie Nélisse in Mean Dreams, an autumnal teens-on-the-lam thriller beautifully shot by Canadian director Nathan Morlando in an Ontario that stands in for the rural U.S. Midwest.

Elevation

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Mean Dreams
Written by
Kevin Coughlin and Ryan Grassby
Directed by
Nathan Morlando
Starring
Sophie Nélisse, Josh Wiggins, Bill Paxton
Genre
Thriller
Classification
14A
Country
Canada
Language
English
Year
2016

"I ain't afraid of him," the boy says to the girl, referring to her bad-cop father. "You should be," she replies. She is dead serious and dead right. Mean Dreams is an autumnal teens-on-the-lam thriller, beautifully shot by Canadian director Nathan Morlando in an Ontario that stands in for the rural U.S. Midwest. The American actor Josh Wiggins is striking as a farm boy – and a young Matt Damon replica – who impulsively strikes up a friendship with the new girl in town (played by Canadian up-and-comer Sophie Nélisse). Her widowed dad is a meanie of the nastiest order; Bill Paxton handles the role wickedly. Spiritual questions and thoughts on the importance of flesh-and-blood relationships are raised, but the strength of the you-can-run-but-you-can't-hide drama is the dewy charisma of the two young co-stars. Think Terrence Malick's Badlands meets The Escape of the High Park Zoo Capybaras.

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