PUSH is a short film about a restless, bored, pregnant woman (Justine Bateman) who gives a defiant 12-year old boy (Nolan Gross) a ride home – pushing him over an emotional line he did not know he would be crossing that day.
Based on the short story, “Fuck You”, the film opens with Bateman starting her car and lighting a cigarette. She pulls out of her driveway and around the bend of what looks like a cookie cutter neighborhood, halfway finished. The neighborhood evokes the same feeling of isolation and loneliness that Bateman captures brilliantly.
Bateman goes and performs her “good wife” duties when she food shops at a local market. The sounds of her throwing food into her cart – starts to reveal a woman who feels trapped.
On her drive home from the market, she stops when she sees a young boy on the side of the road. It seems like her maternal instincts are in full force when she offers him a ride.
What makes this film so intriguing – is how mysterious Bateman’s character is. The dialogue takes you on twists and turns. You think you know where the story is headed – then you don’t.
The ending so abrupt – it reveals the brilliance of the film – and leaves the audience to figure out what just happened.
In a good vs. evil type of scenario, we never know if this angry mother is befriending the young boy – or out for something else.
For this reason Bateman’s film stays with you long after it ends – and continues in the viewers imagination.