With Red Rocket, writer and indie director Sean Baker (The Florida Project, Tangerine L.A.) explores the world of pimps, drug dealers and the adult film industry. The result is quirky comedy, sex film and milieu study all rolled into one. Baker’s film, which premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, has made numerous other festival appearances and has already received much praise as well as numerous nominations.
The quirky comedy centers on Mikey Saber (Simon Rex), a washed-up porn star who returns to his small Texas hometown after missing job offers and running out of money. His still-wife Lexi (Suzanne Son) is less than thrilled and reluctantly takes him in. To earn money, Mikey starts selling weed. He meets 17-year-old Strawberry (Bree Elrod), an employee of a donut store, and senses his big chance. He seduces her and wants to use the girl as a ticket back into the porn industry.
With films like Tangerine L.A., the iPhone-shot story of a transgender sex worker, and The Florida Project, a film about an unemployed single mother and her young daughter living in a run-down motel in the shadow of Walt Disney World, Baker has showcased life on the margins. His latest work Red Rocket is in no way inferior, presenting a gritty, funny and mercilessly honest portrait of the white underclass in the USA.