Russell is just trying to keep himself together and out of trouble, until one night, he finds an abandoned baby in the dumpster behind his work.
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He takes the baby back to his motel room, where after dialing , he makes the split-second and inadvisable decision not to take her to the authorities. He spends the next two days looking after little Ella, learning the basics of feeding and washing, but he knows he can't keep her, and so he takes whatever time and joy he can with her, before eventually contacting the authorities. Certainly, having an actor as good as Hawke in the lead takes the film to deeper and richer places than it would have otherwise in lesser hands.
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Hawke shows us a man whose life was ruined by a few minor mistakes and a terrible system, someone so beaten down that he can barely ask for even the smallest things that would improve his life, and who can barely even look people in the eye. Lost and alone, he can only focus on one moment at a time, with no idea of what will happen once he's finally free of the system. This abandoned baby becomes the focus Russell desperately needs: the unconditional love babies give to those who look after them is immesurable, especially to one without any love or much kindness for as long as Russell.
Marshall-Green allows Hawke all the space he needs to convey Russell's shyness, his ineptitude, and his immediate and fierce love for the thing as abandoned and lost as he is. Marshall-Green also makes sure Hawke has a strong supporting cast, from Betty Gabriel as a social worker, to Elaine Hendrix's odd woman he meets on a bus, to comedian Loni Love's kindly store worker who tells him what kind of bottles to buy.
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The heart of the story is strong; however, there are a few too many details that are a little too far-fetched that take away from its strength. It's hard to believe that Russell, even in prison for that long, would have literally no idea how to use the internet; that, given what we're told and the conclusion, he wouldn't know what happened to his parents; and that he would not know immediately that keeping an abandoned baby was a bad idea.
The film does take some time to show how this particular law since changed somewhat but still the law in several states ruins the lives of those who could otherwise have been helped and kept out of the prison system, but seems to abandon the realities of that by the end; not that a relatively happy ending isn't nice, but in this case it felt rushed even for a film with an minute running time.
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Review: ADOPT A HIGHWAY, Ethan Hawke Shines in a Hopeful but Inconsistent Film
Click here for free trial login. It was the signal that the capital had fallen to the United States-backed Northern Alliance forces. Then when I saw the new flag flying on top of the hill the next morning, I was sure that the Taliban were finished. Houses and apartment blocks ravaged by decades of war are being rebuilt and repainted. New shops and restaurants are opening each day. There are traffic jams in once empty streets and the markets are crowded and alive with commerce.
Even the six-year drought has broken, bringing a lush cloak of greenery - an omen for many that better times are ahead. Since early this year, more than one million Afghans have seized the prospect of peace and returned home from neighbouring Pakistan and Iran, many of them converging on Kabul. Hundreds of thousands of other, internally-displaced people have headed back to towns and villages. And today, an event will begin that many are anticipating as the real moment when Afghanistan can put behind four decades of war and embracea future in peace.
In a giant tent erected on a sports ground in the suburbs of Kabul, delegates will gather for a week-long loya jirga - a traditional grand council that will choose a new head of state, cabinet and parliament to rule the country for the next two years, pending general elections.
But Kabul is a deceptive window on the rest of the country and its future. Beyond the city limits, guarded for now by thousands of international troops, anarchy reigns, crime is rampant and warlords again hold sway in many places where the Taliban at least brought their own harsh brand of law and order. Across the areas of eastern and southern Afghanistan, allied air and ground operations continue against remnants of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, making resettlement and reconstruction impossible for the time being.
In the north, a tense stand-off continues between two ostensible Northern Alliance allies for control of the key city of Mazar-e Sharif and neighbouring provinces. The ruthless Uzbek warlord Rashid Dostam and Tajik commander Ustad Atta Mohamad, each with well-equipped armies of up to 10, men, are kept apart only by intense diplomatic pressure as thousands of ethnic Pashtuns continue to be driven out of the region.
Here’s Why I’m Hopeful for the Future
In the eastern city of Khost, Pashtun commander Bacha Khan still defies the central government as he presses to retain control of the strategically important region on the border with Pakistan in a conflict that has claimed more than 50 lives in recent weeks. Meanwhile, American and British officials have expressed fears that the anti-American warlord Hekmatyar, who returned to Afghanistan earlier this year after spending several years in exile in Iran, is building an alliance with fugitive Taliban and al Qaeda forces in western tribal areas to mount a challenge against the interim administration.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch warned this week that some warlords were using violence and intimidation to stack the selection of delegates to the loya jirga, and that repression and lawlessness had reached alarming levels in some areas. If they succeed, Afghans will again be denied the ability to choose their own leaders and build a civil society. We will be back to where we were in It will be an undeclared civil war,'' says a senior United Nations official in Kabul.