About Scout is a warm-hearted story about family, friendship and acceptance set in the most harrowing of circumstances. Spoilers ahead.
Scout is played by a brilliantly talented young actor named India Ennenga. She displays natural grace in her acting. Since Scout carries most of the movie, it’s a treat to watch Ennenga work.
The rest of the cast isn’t a bunch of slouches. Onata Aprile is Lulu, Scout’s younger sister. Scout and Lulu live with their great-grandmother (Ellen Burstyn). Gram is sick and not capable of caring for Scout and Lulu. Lulu is old enough to be in public school, but Scout is forced to keep dropping her off at day care (where they don’t want her because of her age) because Gram won’t provide a birth certificate. There’s never any food in the house, and Scout depends on her street-smarts to keep herself, her little sister, and her Gram fed and functioning.
A crisis arises when Gram summons Ray (Tim Guinee), the girls’ father. A child welfare worker is lurking at the door. Gram is desperate. Ray is a carny, living in a 10 foot trailer with a pregnant junkie of a girlfriend (Nikki Reed). He won’t take the two girls off Gram’s hands. He finally agrees to take Lulu because she’s smaller. Scout sees them drive away. She’s determined to get Lulu back and away from her dad, who won’t take good care of her.
That’s where the Prescotts come in.
James Frecheville plays Sam Prescott, a young man Scout befriends while he’s in the looney bin (her words, not mine). Jane Seymour plays his rich and disconnected mother. Danny Glover plays Red. Red works for the Prescott family and is in charge of hunting Sam down when he disappears with Scout.
Scout convinces Sam to help her save Lulu. He runs from the hospital he’s in. They steal a car, they steal food, they sneak their way into motel rooms for a night’s rest. It’s a road trip adventure in pursuit of the carnival where Scout’s dad and Lulu can be found.
The 15 year-old Scout and the escapee from a mental institution who still wears gauze bandages over the cuts in his wrists become a team. They respect each other. They accept each other. They are an unlikely pair, but they click – they work. They bring out the best in each other.
I won’t tell you how it ends, although you might assume they do eventually find Lulu. But what happens to Scout after that? And what happens to Sam?
About Scout was directed by Laurie Weltz. Laurie Weltz and India Ennenga share the writing credits. It’s available on Amazon Video, Netflix, and iTunes.