A near flawless mood piece. It is the '50s and nuclear testing is about to begin in the Nevadan wastes, but back in Las Vegas 13-year-old Rose (Gish) finds family life quite volatile enough. Her alcoholic stepfather (Voight), a traumatised World War II military-freak, seems to hate her but love her glam-puss aunt (Barkin). Written and directed by Corr, the film's main strength is its humorous understatement: it may take a little time to exert its considerable power, but once achieved its control never slips. The performances all round are excellent, avoiding histrionics and conveying with total authenticity the terrifying naivety of the mushrooming atomic age: 'Rise and shine, it's A-bomb time!'
Cast and crew
Jay D Underwood