Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Set in 1950, this is a convincing, well-acted drama about a young girl's growing up in Las Vegas amidst poverty and a turbulent home life. The 13-year-old Rose (Annabeth Gish) lives with her mother (JoBeth Williams), stepfather (Jon Voight), and two sisters in a working-class home. Trouble is brewing on several fronts: her stepfather is his usual abusive self but is dipping into the bottle more frequently, her glitzy Aunt Starr (Ellen Barkin) arrives for a six-week stay and causes an upheaval in the marriage, and an above-ground nuclear bomb is about to be exploded at the government test site (only 65 miles away). If Rose can survive all this with her health, her sanity, and her clear intelligence intact, it will not be due to her supportive environment.
coming-of-age, abuse, alcoholism, nuclear-testing, stepfather, working-class