Review: In ‘About Scout,’ a Young Woman Searches for Her Sister

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About Scout” is another entry in the “charming road movie” genre, one that banks a little too heavily on charm and not enough on story. The two young leads pair engagingly, though, and the screenwriter and director, Laurie Weltz, surrounds them with name actors in small roles, a sweet reversal of the usual casting structure.

India Ennenga (Sofia from the HBO series “Treme” and Ms. Weltz’s daughter) is Scout, a teenager who, along with her younger sister, Lulu (Onata Aprile), is being raised by her great-grandmother (Ellen Burstyn). It is Scout, though, who is doing most of the raising, and when their absentee father, Ray (Tim Guinee), takes custody of Lulu, Scout goes off in search of her.

She recruits for a traveling companion a man from a nearby psychiatric care center named Sam (James Frecheville). His wrists are still bandaged, which tells us as much about him as any of the dialogue does. They steal a car and head off in search of the carnival where Ray works.

Scout is old enough that her traveling dynamic with Sam isn’t the kid-adult one of “Paper Moon”; it’s more like a tweener with a crush on a college man. The film, though, doesn’t really do enough with the possibilities inherent in that, or give us enough back story on either of them to make their improbable partnership credible.

The supporting characters — the cast also includes Nikki Reed, Jane Seymour and Danny Glover — add dashes of interest, but by the film’s end, you’re left with a sketch more than a full portrait. The characters were fleetingly interesting, yet you don’t feel as if you have come to know them.

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