Ben is Back is a movie written and directed by Peter Hedges. The director has cast his son, Lucas Hedges, for the lead character Ben and Julia Roberts for Holly Burns. It is a beautiful movie on so many levels, whether it’s the main cast that makes such a sensitive topic relatable or the story itself, which is so simple and endearing, it is hard to tell, but there is a charm that Peter always tries to capture in his movies.
A certain aspect stands out the most, the setting, in which the whole mood is set for the movie. It’s cold, grey, and dark. The wintered woodland, snow-clad roads, and loneliness lingering in the paths the characters take all contribute and contrast to the warmth that Hedge has tried to create. Let’s look at the locations where it was filmed.
The Plot And Setting
The story follows the life of Ben Burns, who is an opioid addict. The beginning scene shows Ben’s homecoming after visiting rehab on Christmas Eve. The rest of the movie is about his mother’s struggle to keep him at home and sober.
The above description is very short and doesn’t capture the nuances of this struggle, Lucas’ amazing performance, or the whole intensity of addiction that people have to deal with. The movie has many scenes outside the home. From the suburbs to the streets and the woods, the movie explores a lot of compassion that makes us human beings.
Where Is The Film Shot? And What About The Team?
The movie Ben is Back was shot in the New York state. It especially covers the scenes in Rockland Count and Westchester County. The shooting started back in 2017 and was finished in 2018, and released in the same year. Stuart Dryburgh, a famed cinematographer (of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), has been the movie’s art director.
Where In Rockland County, New York?
The team shot some of the scenes in Sloatsburg. It is a village in the town of Ramapo in Rockland Country. Another important location came out to be Harriman State Park. Some of the scenes were shot at the location called “The Farm,” a local property on Johnson town Road.
One of the key locations in the movie is the Super Seven convenience store. Its location lies at 75 Orange Turnpike in Sloatsburg. Smaller scenes were occupied in Hayward’s Deli at 59 Orange Turnpike. Also, at 62 Orange Turnpike, a strip mall and the Haas pharmacy appear in the movie. Some of the locations are New City, North Little Tor Road, and South Mountain Road. Many scenes were shot in Garnerville, especially at Sparky’s Diner.
In Westchester Country?
The Hudson Valley has been thoroughly explored; Ben’s house is in Yonkers. Exteriors of Lake Avenue, Nepperhan Avenue, Central Park Avenue, and Mildred Street have been shot. Some scenes have been filmed at Mamaroneck, at Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club, in the village of Larchmont, especially St. John’s Episcopal Church.
So, since now we know where the magic took place, shall we go and bring our cameras for a spin?