Away From Here is a drama film that debuted in 2014.
When the show opens, we introduced to the ex-con James (Nick Stahl), who was charged with statutory rape of a fifteen year old girl, Jessica (Mary Regency Boies, Silver Linings Playbook).
James returns to his Missouri home after spending six years in prison. He lands a job at a local restaurant that is owned by Carl (Frankie Faison). He is forced to register as a sex offender with the state.
He meets a waitress, Lily (Alicia Witt), who works at the same restaurant where he works and forms a relationship with her, but refuses to have sex with her, in the beginning.
Jessica finds out that he was released from prison and finds him at a bus stop. He refuses to speak with here and tells her to go home.
The movie shows a flashback, where James was a youth minister and meets Jessica. She is apparently attracted to him and tries several times to get him to have sex with her. He maintains his composure for quite some time before he relents and has sex with her. Jessica is the daughter of the pastor, Paul (Ray Wise), who is James’s mentor.
Lily and James continue to date and she cannot understand why he does not want to have sex with her. He is again pushed into having sex with yet another young lady, even though he knows that it is not the appropriate time or thing to do, but this time it is different, because they are both of consensual age.
James receives a phone call, during the night, which is representative of the sex offender registration office. She states that they are verifying his phone number and will be out later to verify his address.
Jessica shows up at the restaurant where James works. She appologizes for what happened to him. She admits to her father lying and her pretending to be a victim, when she was not. Lily sees them talking but does not say anything.
Lilly takes James to see her mother, who is institutionalized and was not around for her very much as a child. Lilly discovers the truth about James when she sees his photo on a poster. She becomes very upset and confronts him about his convictions. He explains to Lily about Jessica’s and his relationship and how they were in love and it was not rape.
Paul finds out about Jessica and James’s encounter and begins to relive the terrible nightmare from six years prior. He speaks about his anger, emotional pain, and hate. Jessica withdraws from her family because she holds so much guilt for what happened to James. Paul continues to control Jessica in every sense and forces her to apologize to her husband and make their marriage work. He then decides to visit James and demands that he leave town and leave Jessica alone.
James is fired from the restaurant that he worked because Carl thought that he was stealing. Lily tries to take the blame but Carl refuses to listen.
Will Lily be able to forgive James for what he did and how he did not tell her about his past criminal convictions? Will James ever overcome his past and be able to live a normal life in today’s society?
If you are interested in how ex cons adjust to life after prison, you should definitely watch this movie. Even though James was too old to be in a relationship with Jessica, the sex was consensual. Not justifying what he did but not everything is black and white.
Away From Here is definitely a good watch. The hometown scenes and beautiful scenery is absolutely beautiful. The acting is impeccable for a low budget film. Nick Stahl did a wonderful job bringing his character to life as well as did Alicia Witt. This film deserves an 8 out of 10.