“As irresistibly fizzy as a sachet of Pop Rocks.” Variety
A modern nativity story in which the Holy Ghost seemingly impregnates a Mormon girl through a cover of Jack Lee/Blondie’s incomparable tune, “Hanging on the Telephone,” Electrick Children defies easy categorisation.
Reflecting her own Mormon up-bringing, first-timer writer/director Rebecca Thomas renders the narrow, fundamentalist home life of rebellious 15 year old Rachel (the film’s secret weapon, Julia Garner Clyde) with great sensitivity and conviction. When Rachel discovers a cassette player hidden away in the basement, exposure to the music on the tape changes her life. She finds herself inexplicably pregnant and believes that it is the voice of the singer (“the Devil’s spawn”) who is responsible and she flees the prospect of a hastily arranged marriage to try to find the singer. Her quest takes her on a magic realist journey to Las Vegas where she finds the outside world full of stimulation and temptations. Rachel’s wide-eyed innocence beguiles all she meets, though, as she she progresses through a world in which she believes that God is shaping her destiny.