(CBS Local)– Father and daughter movies have been made before, but there has never been one quite like “Mickey and the Bear.”
The Annabelle Attanasio film starring James Badge Dale and Camila Morrone tells the story of how a teenage woman deals with the addiction and mental illness of her volatile father in small town Montana. The movie has created a lot of buzz since it premiered at South by Southwest and then made its way to the Cannes Film Festival.
“The heart of this story is the relationship between a girl and her dad,” said Attanasio in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I think it was very important for me to have that human relationship at the forefront. All of the themes and social issues behind the movie are very pressing. Hank was always meant to be this veteran character and self-governing. In terms of his dependency on pills, I thought it was an opportunity to discuss this larger issue in our country about pharmaceutical companies and the VA prescribing pills instead of providing any meaningful treatment to vets.”
“I think I worked through stuff from the very beginning of this process,” said Morrone. “It’s definitely an intimidating story to tell and an intimidating character to play. We obviously wanted to be respectful and do justice to this crisis, which we all know is spreading all over this country. I think it was an interesting way to to tell a veteran’s story without it being about Hank. It’s about PTSD, trauma, and addiction affect everyone around the person. It was a great way of telling a new version of a story that’s already been told.
The movie was shot in Montana and it took a long time to get this one green lit. The film hits on several key themes, including the inescapability of a small town and addiction.
“It took a long time to get this off the ground, it’s incredibly hard to get a movie off the ground as a young female filmmaker,” said Attanasio.
“The hardest part is exactly what Mickey is going through… how much do you give this person and how much is too much,” said Morrone. “At what point do you step away and say I’ve done everything I can for this person and now it’s up to them to get help. It’s always the internal battle of when am I enabling this person. I think that’s Mickey’s ultimate struggle.”
“Mickey and the Bear” is in theaters now.