Gimme Shelter

| April 30, 2014

Gimme Shelter is a fantastic movie that chronicles one young teen’s pregnancy and painful relationship with her mother, while she locates a father with whom she never had a relationship. Vanessa Hudgens stars in this heart-wrenching but inspirational drama that is available on Blu-ray April 29.

Hudgens plays Agnes “Apple” Bailey, whose violent and dependent drug fiend of a mother is played by Rosario Dawson. Based on the true life stories of Several Sources Shelters founder Kathy DiFiore and some of the pregnant teen shelter residents, the gripping tale follows the courageous Apple who fights against all odds to find her father and make a loving family for herself and her newborn. The film opens with Apple running away from the home that she shares with her mother to find her rich father who has a family of his own.

When Apple arrives at her father’s home, she was pegged as a burglar, until he shows up with his pristine family in tow and realizes that the cops are holding his daughter. She doesn’t cut the mustard with this new family at first. Once they discover that she is pregnant, her father and step mother think that it is best for her to end the pregnancy. But Apple is more determined than that and figured out the best way for her was obviously the harder choice—keeping the baby

James Earl Jones plays the priest Father McCarthy who helps Apple start believing in herself and the fact that she can do better for herself, without her mother’s help. He is a relentless but gentle priest who finally persuades Apple to go to the shelter, which is just for pregnant teens or teens who had just given birth. This is the best deal for Apple, and she begrudgingly takes to this arrangement and finds a bit of happiness.

She is a feisty teen, with the attitude that no one can help her and distrust and hate for a mother that is warranted, since her mother is only trying to keep her close at bay for any welfare benefits that she might gain. Once Apple’s mother finds out that Apple is pregnant, the mother is even more vengeful and committed to force Apple back home. She shows up at the shelter, demanding that if Apple doesn’t come back with her she will call the authorities, and Apple will be placed in yet another foster home. Once Apple’s father, played by Brendan Fraser shows up, Dawson is livid, vowing to get even. However, since Apple is angry with the world, her relationship with her father must be mended, just as it begins.

But Apple finally finds peace, redemption and respect, and the title Gimme Shelter takes on many meanings in this great inspirational movie that will touch hearts everywhere. I hadn’t paid much attention to Hudgens, but she is remarkable in Gimme Shelter. The movie is available on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Digital HD and Video On Demand from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Visit

About the Author:

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago. She is the author of "Old School Adventures from Englewood--South Side of Chicago" and the proud parent of "the smart rapper"--chemist-turned-rapper, turned humanitarian...Psalm One!
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