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Fly Away (2010)

Greg Germann , Ashley Rickards , Janet Grillo  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Fly Away + Autism: The Musical + A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism
Price for all three: $36.63

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Product Details

  • Actors: Greg Germann, Ashley Rickards, Beth Broderick, Janet Grillo
  • Directors: Janet Grillo
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Flatiron Film Company
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004HJ0ZS2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,575 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


Mandy is played by Ashley Rickards, a young lady who should win an Academy Award for best supporting actress. She is that convincing... Broderick and Rickards hit all the notes perfectly. Their duet is really something to see. --Huffington Post

The lovely, heartbreaking FLY AWAY benefits from superb performances and a gripping story managed with simplicity and grace by writer-producer-director Janet Grillo. --Los Angeles Times

It's a stimulating sense of realism that helps to shape a raw, compassionate portrait of life lived with the disorder, finding pauses of behavior and response that shock and enlighten. It's not an easy film to watch, but it's a picture of immense importance, capturing an intimate state of mind few are allowed to visit. --DVD Talk

Product Description

A powerful film directed by Emmy Award® winner Janet Grillo (Autism: The Musical), FLY AWAY narrates the story of Jeanne (Beth Broderick, Bonfire of the Vanities, Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and her autistic teenage daughter, Mandy (Ashley Rickards, One Tree Hill). Jeanne has cared for Mandy since the day she was born, growing closer every day to a child who is charmingly offbeat one moment and nearly impossible to manage the next. In the dog park, Jeanne encounters Tom (Greg Germann, Ally McBeal, Friends with Money), an easygoing and accepting neighbor who sparks a romantic interest, but she finds juggling Mandy s care and her own career leaves little room for a new man. As the pressures of work and her child s needs increase, she must decide whether or not to enroll Mandy in a therapeutic residential facility. Over the course of a few weeks, Jeanne is confronted with the most difficult decision a parent can make: to let go, allowing her child to grow, but also grow apart; or to hold on tight and fall together.

10% of proceeds from DVD sales benefits Autism Speaks

Bonus Features: A conversation with the filmmakers of FLY AWAY; Autism Speaks: It s Time to Listen (Music Video); Companion guide with information on autism spectrum disorders

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Promoted in large part by Autism Speaks, which receives a portion of all DVD sales and Video on Demand viewing fees, there is no doubt that "Fly Away" will be discovered and embraced by those with a direct connection with autism. However, this brief and matter-of-fact film deserves a wider audience--so hopefully those that champion small independent films will help to build an awareness of this well meaning examination of mother love and sacrifice. The film presents a gritty and realistic look at the challenges that those with severe autism face as well as the repercussions the disease has on their immediate caregivers. And while not perfect--some minor roles are a bit heavy handed and there are a few issues in narrative flow--"Fly Away" is about as realistic as can be at the level of family intimacy and is bolstered by strong lead performances.

Janet Grillo's film chronicles an uncomfortable transitional period--when an afflicted girl is no longer a child, yet still maintains a childlike existence. Ashley Rickards plays the burgeoning woman whose frustrations have caused her to increasingly lash out at school and at home. Beth Broderick is a mother whose life is dedicated to her daughter, but who must make some hard choices about the future. When is it time to let go and entrust your child's well-being to others? She has subjugated her own independence and chance at happiness--yet when a new romantic interest as well as a new educational opportunity for Rickards coincide, it just might be time for some serious thought. Broderick wrestles with what would be best for everyone, but there are no easy answers and bright outlooks. Through it all, the film maintains a central realism as opposed to going for overwrought drama--and the choice is quietly effective.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Saki
I saw this at the SXSW film festival, and am getting in line here to preorder a copy. Beautiful, subtle performances by both female leads, even when yelling their heads off. I sort of expected one of those Lifetime "Heroic Mom withstands dire circumstances and in the end her Love Conquers All" things. You know, where the disabled child is nothing more than a way for the scriptwriter to illustrate how great Mom is?

Not so. The girl who played the autistic daughter (the actress is not autistic) wasn't just a collection of tics and screams: she was a complex person, and we got to see her that way. Really well done!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 11, 2011
By akorn
Absolutely excellent. Not sappy but gritty and realistic , this movie gives a strong sense of what it is like to live with autism. The actors are so believable, one is left wondering if the actress who plays Mandy truly does have autism. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fly Away October 9, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This was in fact an entertaining film, but as the mother of an Autistic child, this is not quite realalistic. There was a time when people felt it necessary to interject their views constantly out in public but I do not see that anymore. I really only see it amonst the family members. In public I see people trying to be supportive even though they may say the wrong thing. As far as a single parent with an Autistic child, I cannot speak on their behalf as I do have a loving supportive husband that has never once considered leaving me and I do feel blessed for that. I still gave it four stars though because there is accuracy in many ways. Autistc children require things to be a certain way and they are very literal. You cannot promise them something and then not give it to them if they did not accomplish their duty to your specifications. It is best not to promise them anything but waite and reward them when they have accomplished something. Also many Autistic children do scream out in the night. Some do not sleep at all. Many are aggressive and it is very very hard on the parents and I could only imagine what it would be like for the single parent. So yes, this movie had some very accurate moments just not completely accurate moments. Oh and I don't think I would be looking to get married again if my husband were to leave me or die either. My son is very hard to love. It takes someone very special to understand him and I would fear that no one could understand him like his father and I do. So yes, I am sure many single mothers feel their life is about their children
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant March 23, 2012
By .fgd
Great acting by actress who played autistic girl. I kept trying to guess if it was a somewhat disabled girl who could ham it up for the camera or an actress. I dared not guess. Brilliant acting.
Loved the way the disabled are shown to be more complex, loving,, confused and angry and jofulll than the plain crazed grotesques they can appear to ignorant out-siders. Yet the film does not sink into sentimentality and does not flinch to show she is crazed too. A young cute mentally disabled child is easier to handle and empathise with that an adult one. This film was a sensitive exploration of when this cross- over happens. Moreover it was inclusive from the inside how the disabled get stressed out by this too. Not to be mis-interpreted but people who try to adopt chimps run into the same problem. I seem to have seen more media coverage on fostered chimps than the dilemma of the disabled and their parents. Riverting and interesting throughout.
Top marks for alluding at the end of the film to the premise that like the elderley the mentally disabled can and do fulfill mutually sexual needs to express affection. Even if its in their own way.
See "Vengo" to catch a flamenco movie with a mentally disabled actor giving a great performance in one of the leading roles.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for parents who have children with autism
I felt this book was able to show others how people deal with living with autism and autistic peopl are not different it's just how they approach things in a different world
Published 11 days ago by jeanette formento
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
What a wonderful story. This is true support for families with special children. There is hope when at times one can not see it.
Published 3 months ago by Jenny Mazgaj
4.0 out of 5 stars super
Very good movie with a great message. Excellent for family viewing. That is very important and is a educational tool.
Thank you.
Published 12 months ago by Elizabeth Hennen
5.0 out of 5 stars Very accurate movie!
As a mother of a little girl with Autism I found this movie to be amazing. This was a very accurate depiction of what parents and child go through on a day to day basis.
Published 13 months ago by Nicole Hanes
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Glimpse of Reality
Fly Away is truly a beautiful glimpse at the reality that parents of autistic children face every day. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Tess Borden
5.0 out of 5 stars Great look at what life is like for Families that live with Autism!
I would recommend this for anyone who may want to see the challenges of some families that live with this disorder! Read more
Published 15 months ago by Tiffany
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly Away
I have a granddaughter who is severely autistic. This movie is right on target. I wish people who do not live with autism would see this, it would do a great service to all those... Read more
Published 16 months ago by AnnS
5.0 out of 5 stars "Blown Away" by "Fly Away"I
would like to tell you how this movie moved and related to me as someone who does not have a child on Spectrum. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Delores Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Inspiration
For those who prefer inspiration that is applicable to what many would call `the real world,' Fly Away is a much welcomed reminder that the heroes of our day do not bend bars or... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Craig Deininger
5.0 out of 5 stars Mother and Daughter
This film intimately takes us behind closed doors into the life of a single parent raising a teenage autistic child, with a raw, powerful truth that only one who lives in that... Read more
Published on February 8, 2012 by D. Styler
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