Gimmie Shelter stars Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers), James Earl Jones (The Lion King), Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Brendan Fraser (The Mummy). Based on a true story, the film explores the story of Agnes “Apple” Bailey, a homeless and pregnant teen forced to make it on her own. After running away from home and her abusive mother (Rosario Dawson), Bailey tracks down her Wall Street father (Brendan Fraser) in hopes of getting on her feet.
Hudgens is almost unrecognizable in her role as Bailey. To prepare for her role, she lived in pregnancy shelters for weeks, interacting with the young mothers who also appear alongside her in the film. She actually does a great job playing the role.
The film opens with Apple fleeing from her drug-addicted mother – but not without a fist fight – and being thrown out by a cab driver after he discovered she didn’t have all the money for her trip. She manages to get to her Dad by bus and is arrested after knocking on his door. She’s clearly a troubled girl, used to being mistreated and abused. I found myself wanting to help Apple shed some of her tough and rough personality so that she could get the help she sought.
After finding temporary help with her father, his wife and two children, Apple discovers that she’s pregnant. Her father and his wife demand that she get an abortion but Apple isn’t having it. The film does promote Christianity, as James Earl Jones encourages Apple to read the Bible and submit to God’s plan but it is more about a story of a young woman just trying to make it.
Gimme Shelter will open in the U.S. tomorrow (Friday, January 24, 2014).