Red Rocket made me scream out loud, literally

Hopefully you’re savvy enough to get my review title’s double entendre which really did happen. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve said something out loud in a theater. The last time was during The Lighthouse when Willem DaFoe gave such a powerful monologue that I whisper said, “Oh my God” out loud. But I have never shouted out as I did yesterday during Sean Baker’s (and co-written by Chris Bergoch) Red Rocket.
And trust me, I’m not bragging, in fact, my ‘amen’ moment came with a lot of stress since Sean Baker writes such fine tuned realistic characters and employs only the highest caliber actors (and non) that you feel like the world is real. If you know Tangerine and/or The Florida Project, you know that Sean also captures the essence of place, L.A. and Orlando respectively. This time it’s the Gulf Coast of Texas with all it’s red neck, oil refineries glory.
The editing in this film is also top notch. When Sean uses a non-sequitur moment to show Simon Rex’s character admiring a pit bull frolicking in the grass, I understand completely that his character admires the happy-go-lucky dog’s life and is Peter Pan with all caps. There are no words needed, simply an on point scene and terrific acting. Bree Elrod is brilliant as Simon’s wife, case in point: if the scene on the bed about her child and CPS doesn’t crush your heart, you are not human. Suzanna Son is also amazing posing as a teenage hottie (she’s really 26, btw).
To tell you my favorite scene or my shout out scene would violate my no spoiler rule, suffice to say, I’m glad to see The Independent Spirit Award and Gothams nominated him for best lead. You can not watch this film and not admire the acting even if you disagree with the story. Heck, if Joaquin can win for playing a character as demonic as The Joker, Simon should and could win for Red Rocket.
And my apologies to the five other (super savvy, btw) people in the audience subjected to my screaming at Simon to “get the f out of there!”. My bad=Sean Baker’s great.

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

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