Born & Raised (2012)

Nick Loritsch, Jackson Pyle, Sandra Staggs, Dawntavia Bullard
This intelligently crafted, seven-time award winning festival favorite, tells the story of a young man, in a small seaside town, who learns a thing or two about love, luck and life from his...
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  • 24 Sep 2013 Released:
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Small town American gets a poignant look5/10
A poignant story about the desire to expand one's horizons and the dangers of drifting away into emptiness and loneliness. The film centers on young Bubbs (Writer Nick Loritsch) wants to leave Panama City, Florida and travel the world like his grandfather who is despised by all in the town for the grief he has caused Bubbs' mother. The film features gorgeous photography of the Floridian Coast accompanied by a soundtrack featuring country music by Jay Vincent. The film's central focus and probably greatest asset is a tremendous performance by Jackson Pyle as Frank, Bubbs' free-spirited grandfather. Pyle carries himself with a strong sense of gravity, but always pokes in a little joviality when one least expects it, giving an otherwise weighty story some levity. The rest of the cast provides strong support, but it is Pyle who carries the film on his shoulders throughout.
Beyond Refreshing10/10
"Born and Raised," feels purely authentic in its astute interpretation of a small town dynamic. The creators truly captured the essence of this lifestyle by even including a bizarre moniker, like a main character named, "Bubbs." The movie cut to the core of some meager mentalities by including individuals' habits of smoking and drinking, sick cycles of young vacillating relationships and minimalistic social lives in empty bars.

Beyond the imagery and lifestyle of these folks, the true theme of the film is finding and creating one's own path in life. It explores how some may not find peace within their community as they desire adventures outside of the walls that have been built for them by their own family's experiences, heartbreaks, fears, and struggles. The core of this script is exploring the fine line of happiness which can be between what one has and what one desires. To find this balance while remaining true to your own set of internal motivations, sans the hopes and dreams others have for your own existence, can be an overwhelming struggle. Finding this internal strength to walk away can feel almost paralyzing.

This movie has a raw portrayal of characters that captures real issues of heartache, abandonment, physical abuse, substance abuse, and yet the characters still exhibit courage, curiosity, and resilience while attempting to enter a future of unknowns.

The production of this film is far from today's "Hollywood" standards which makes it magnificently raw and gritty. The main character literally has a major blemish on his face which is so refreshing in a day where most actors are covered in make-up or the flaws are edited out after the fact. This made the production practical, since most lower income individuals wouldn't spend mass amounts of money on proper skin-care products.

The characters are dressed like normal, earthy people. The female characters aren't glamorous, glitzy, or dressed in provocative clothing, which makes it easier to focus on the storyline instead of being sidetracked by their unmentionables.

Even the backdrop of the movie, with the scenery in muted shades of gray and the beautifully executed soundtrack, sets the tone to magically allow the audience to feel the conflicts the characters are enduring while still trying to find and implement forgiveness and acceptance for those that have destroyed their hearts. To watch the characters show mental fortitude and composure while having the hope to press forward, in times where they could be crying, was admirable and an accurate testament to the resiliency of people living in a small town.

This is a production based on the voyage of the seeking out the adventures in life, while straining to see how to move on without abandoning family and friends. It captures the genuine tug of war between responsibility and freedom. The writers deliver the sincere sense of the word, "Home," a place one can leave yet always come back to, no matter where one finds themself in life. "Born and Raised," was beyond invigorating from the script to the implementation!
Truly fantastic film!10/10
I stumbled upon this film purely by word-of-mouth and was absolutely blown away.

I had no idea what I had gotten myself into when I chose to watch this. I only knew that it was a coming-of-age film about a young guy from a small town who wanted to experience more beyond the confines of his sheltered home. The realization that I was watching a story about a curious and driven person who was challenged to balance duty to his family, loyalty to his friends, and inherent need to forge his own path was an incredible shock that resonated to my core. Moreover, I was also impressed by how this film skillfully portrayed delicate and complex issues including abandonment, domestic violence, and heartbreak in a way that truly felt organic and authentic.

It made me laugh. It made me sad. It made me reflect on my own past and I thoroughly enjoyed this thought-provoking film. This film is definitely an amazing piece of work and I absolutely recommend checking it out!
Truthful messages that resonate10/10
Few films evoke true emotion from the audience. This surely one does. The viewer realizes that not all Americans have the same life opportunities due to the accident of birth into families of all types and socio-economic standings. The scenery and locales that the viewer experiences are true rural Florida. This film develops the specific characters to an extent that the personalities and spoken lines will resonate as one engages in his own life and among one's own world of real life characters. Viewers cringe as the characters live their lives and inflict their antics on each other. There are the rogues, the hussies and the innocent locals who can't see life's bigger picture.

A little gem to see.
A good story for all to enjoy.10/10
I had the fortune of watching this film at the Miami International Film Festival. I must give the film its credit. The story is well written. Nick Loritsch who also has the leading role does an excellent job of carrying the story well. Jackson Pyle who plays Nick's grandfather and Arlan Godthaab do a great job keeping the back story alive. Dawntavia Bullard, Keith Hudson along with Nick Loritsch brings this story to reality for many living in the culturally rich gulf region in the USA. I tip my hat to an excellent job the cast and crew of the Born & Raised production team. Good luck with your festivals, and I hope to catch the show again via broadcast, cable or stream. I will surely tell my friends not to miss this feel good film. It will leave you talking about it for days.