There is a shelter in Gimme Shelter (2014), a film by Ronald Krauss based (here we go again) on a true story. The shelter is the suburban house of one Kathy DiFiore (Anne Dowd) transformed into a refuge-home for pregnant teenage girls. One of these girls is truculent, misery-laden Apple (Vanessa Hudgens), who can’t make it with either her damaged mom or her rich, uncertain dad married to a sometimes insensitive woman. A friendly priest (James Earl Jones) who calls the shelter his church helps and even softens Apple before she gives birth to the tiny tot she refused to abort.
Despite certain pieties in the film, despite a spirit of Christian morality, Apple does not become a votary. She does self-improve. Parts of Krauss’s script are feeble, but usually Gimme Shelter is gritty and compelling. It has a lot to do, it seems, with the impulsiveness and mysteriousness of human actions. Moreover the cast, including Hudgens, is strong and true. It’s curious, though, that rebellious Apple is a nonsmoker.