I've been working to catch up on some of the major 2021 releases I still haven't seen over the last few weeks, and one of the films I was most excited to check out was a movie called Red Rocket. It's the new film from director Sean Baker, who also made Tangerine and The Florida Project, and it's gained a lot of buzz thanks to its lead performance from Simon Rex, best known as a former MTV VJ and one of the stars of Scary Movie 3.

Well, I saw the movie last night at the Roxy Theater in Missoula, and it's great! One of my favorite movies of the year - Rex plays one of the scummiest characters I've seen in a long time in a part that is at times tragic and at times darkly funny (and, usually, both).

A common trait among Sean Baker's movies is that he hires unknowns for most of the roles in his films, and that's the case here - so after the movie, I was looking up some of the actors that impressed me the most to see if they had done anything else. And that's when I discovered a Montana connection to one of the movie's stars.

Breakout Performer Suzanna Son Was Born in Hamilton, Montana

Suzanna Son plays Strawberry in Red Rocket, a 17-year-old girl that enters the sleazy world of the main character. This is her first film role - and it turns out, you can trace her roots back to Hamilton!

She didn't spend much time there, though - she later moved and grew up in Washington, where she went to school at Cornish College of the Arts. She opened up about her early life and getting cast in the movie to the Hollywood Reporter.

At one point in the movie, Son performs a slow ballad cover of NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye," which has been used in the marketing for the film.

It's very cool to see someone with a local connection find this kind of success in entertainment - maybe she'll make Vogue's Top Rising Stars List next year, just like one Missoula actress did in 2022.

Do you plan to check out Red Rocket?

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