Throughout his career, Sean Baker’s output has focused on marginalised communities in a compassionate, humanistic, and frequently funny way. In Red Rocket he again takes his audience into the lives of those rarely seen on the big screen, this time in a comic drama that is as quietly moving as it is laugh-out-loud funny.
The film follows washed-up pornstar Mikey Saber (real surname Davies), played by Simon Rex in a revelatory performance, as he returns to Texas City following some difficulties in Los Angeles that have left him beaten and bruised. He arrives unannounced at his estranged wife and mother-in-law’s house expecting to stay over a few days while he gets back on his feet. Following a few attempts at getting a job, he winds up dealing drugs again for an old acquaintance. The rest of the film sees his attempts at building himself back up for a comeback while falling in love with a young girl called Strawberry working at a doughnut shop.