Wayne RobertsUSA88 minutes2016ColourEnglish
A truck-stop waitress (Olivia Cooke, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) believes she has found a way out of her dead end when she falls in love with a handsome young mechanic, in this heartrending character study co-starring Christopher Abbott (James White), Mary Steenburgen, and Jim Belushi.
This heartrending character study stars Olivia Cooke (also appearing at the Festival in The Limehouse Golem) as a young woman for whom goodness is practically an affliction. With an outstanding supporting cast that includes Mary Steenburgen, Jim Belushi, Mireille Enos (television's The Killing), and Christopher Abbott (James White), Wayne Roberts' feature debut is harrowing, big-hearted, and a kind of cautionary tale for dreamers.
In her late teens, Katie (Cooke) is the sole breadwinner in the trailer she shares with her mother (Enos). Katie waits tables at her small town's lone diner, and she supplements her wages by selling sex to a few locals and a kindly trucker named Bear (Belushi) who regularly passes through. Her goals are greater than just getting by day to day; she's saving up to get out of New Mexico and start a new life in San Francisco.
When Katie meets Bruno (Abbott), the taciturn, handsome new mechanic at Bud's Garage, she falls in love instantly. Once they start dating, Katie feels certain that everything in her life is coming together. What she doesn't anticipate is that others in her small community will violently betray her trust.
Shot through with the poignant lyricism of a Tom Waits ballad, Katie Says Goodbye follows its heroine's brutal journey from innocence to experience. Katie's disarming honesty and compulsive gratitude make her both endearing and an easy target. But by the film's end we take consolation in her tenacity and her youth — no matter how many times life may knock her down, this girl is going places.