This exploration of small town life in America is a remarkably heavy debut for the Hawkins brothers.
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, which premiered at Toronto Film Festival over the weekend, tells the story of Billy Joe – a Texan teen who makes his living working on a cotton farm. The movie is a directors Simon and Zeke Hawkins’ feature debut, a gritty coming-of-age story featuring crime, vengeance and some truly misguided decisions.
Pellegrino gives a career defining performance.
Billy Joe’s friends, Sue and Bobby, are about to leave the dead-end town to attend college, but Billy Joe wants to give them a sendoff to remember with one final bender at Corpus Christi. In order to get the money, he foolishly decides to rob an office safe, belonging to his boss, Giff. Unfortunately, Billy Joe soon learns that Giff is completely cold-blooded and will stop at nothing to get the money back. It turns out the cash belonged to a local gangster, known as Big Red. Backed into a corner, our protagonist is forced to confess to the theft, putting his own life and those of his friends in imminent danger. This then leads him further down a path of crime in an attempt to settle his debt.
The film overall presents a whole host of fresh young talent – besides being a debut for Hawkins, this is also writer Dutch Southern’s first screenplay. The stars – Logan Huffman as Billy Joe, Jeremy Allen White as Bobby and MacKenzie Davis as Sue are all relatively new to acting, but their performances are balanced out by film and television veteran Mark Pellegrino. Unfortunately, no wide release dates have been announced to follow the TIFF premiere.
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place presents audiences with new talent in the writing, directorial and acting department.