Two Cents: Please Stand By
I’ve only seen the trailer (by accident), opted out reading the plot and sought out a copy of this film. It was equal parts nostalgic and a joy watching Dakota Fanning deliver a character she’s well-acquainted with when she was younger, portraying the daughter of a man with an intellectual disability, then subsequently, this.
She transcends as the courageous Wendy, a teenage girl full of complexity and fire to prove herself: that she deserves a chance just like everyone else. For a subject as sensitive as this, it’s easy to fall off the rails on the stigma that cocoons this condition. But she played the character with utmost grace and sensitivity us audiences are looking for these days. I am not an expert on Autism (and I'm also not here to talk about the accuracy of the portrayal of the condition). I never once saw a girl that made helplessness or her condition bigger than who she is. Instead, I was up on my seat cheering her on because she’s got this drive, this grab-by-the-balls attitude to make things happen considering the circumstances and the danger of being out in the world by herself. Who knew that notepads can be such a useful calming tool? The humor was pretty sharp too!
Please Stand By struck the right balance between an exhilarating adventure without ridding the serious underlying of the film. The writing was excellent; I am not a Star Trek fan but I enjoyed the referential monologues a lot. Though I must admit that there were scenes that weren’t believable, although that’s the beauty of film. Regardless of it not being 100% tied to reality, it gives us the opportunity to take a part of it/parts of it and relate it to our own realities—that’s what Wendy’s been doing with her script the entire time. And then there’s this line wherein Wendy’s sitting in front of the copy shop, reading her incomplete script, and was reminded of the only logical direction to go and it stuck with me. You know when a film had done its job when you’re able to pick up things from it. This one did. It has a great supporting cast, Toni Colette and Alice Eve were wonderful in it. It’s inspiring, reassuring and an all-around feel good movie.
Not to mention, the great Dakota Fanning acting we’ve been seeing since I Am Sam and Man On Fire. Don't get me started on those films.