Good Girl Jane Image

Good Girl Jane

By Sabina Dana Plasse | August 29, 2022

VASHON ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL 2022 REVIEW! Good Girl Jane is a well-defined and executed drama with beautiful camera work on a not-so-pretty subject. Directed by emerging filmmaker and screenwriter Sarah Elizabeth Mintz, this is an autobiographical film based on her real life. She shares her story in a compelling visual and artistic style that resonates with many who have had similar teenage experiences.

A disheartened high schooler Jane (Rain Spencer), who is lonely and displaced after transferring schools due to her parents’ divorce, feels ostracized in the way every teen does not fit in. When granted entry into the “bad” crowd, Jane falls for Jamie (Patrick Gibson), a drug dealer who has ensconced himself in the group and targets her for another one of his conquests. Jane, vulnerable, needing attention, and intimacy, is lured by Jamie and drugs, as well as the transgression of being in this socially divergent LA teen meth circle.

As Jane drifts further away from her sister, Izzie (Eloisa Huggins). and her mother, Ruth (Andie MacDowell), who hates her head-banging music, and into the world of Bailey (Odessa A’Zion) and others, they raise concern. Jane discovers that this rabbit hole is more profound than she ever realized and comes face-to-face with Jamie’s circle of dependent women and babies who live in squalor.

Jane, vulnerable, needing attention, and intimacy, is lured by Jamie and drugs…”

Throughout Good Girl Jane, cinematographer Jake Saner’s close-up and hand-held style, dubbed “a choreography,” illuminate what’s happening to Jane in a very visual and descriptive nature, capturing emotion, time, and place. The titular character’s drug use propels her into addiction and deeper into a drug-dependent world. Spencer is able to transform the character from a young teenager to a meth user believably and honestly.

Mintz utilizes many details to provoke an emotional response from her first-hand experience with the subject. The name Jane is known for its universal meaning of any girl with no identity, and the character’s dark closet floor is her safe space and haven. The imagery throughout this intense but compelling drama tells a narrative that could be set anywhere and still have the same emotional connection. Couple that with Spencer’s breakout performance, and it proves that there will undoubtedly be more to come for these two emerging talents.

Good Girl Jane is based on a short concept film by Mintz. The film also marks her debut feature, and during production, she endured filmmaking through COVID-19 among the usual indie pitfalls. However, she never lost a step on where she wanted the film to go. As a result, the film won the Founders’ Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature, and Rain Spencer won Best Performance at the 2022 Tribeca Festival. These awards were quite an accomplishment for a first-time feature film, and one can only hope audiences seek out this memorable, if dark, journey.

Good Girl Jane screened at the 2022 Vashon Island Film Festival.

Good Girl Jane (2022)

Directed and Written: Sarah Elizabeth Mintz

Starring: Rain Spencer, Patrick Gibson, Andie MacDowell, Odessa A’Zion, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Good Girl Jane Image

"…a well-defined and executed drama with beautiful camera..."

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