|Written by||H. Haeden Yelin (teleplay)
Martha Tod Dudman (book)
|Directed by||Tim Matheson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Original network||Lifetime Television|
The film was shot in Victoria, British Columbia.
The film dramatically opens with a voice-over from Augusta (Mika Boorem)'s mother Martha (Sharon Lawrence), in which she states that her daughter was once a sweet girl who had the ability to paint beautiful pictures and loved everybody. In fact, later on in the film, Augusta is described as a 'strong, creative, kind and magnificent person' by her mother. This description is in dissonance to the condition in which Augusta's parents find their daughter at a local party. Her parents realize that they need to take drastic and immediate action when they find Augusta in a drug-induced euphoric state. The problem is, however, they are unsure as to how to proceed. Upon their arrival at home, Augusta seems contrite and willing to make amends. However, her mood abruptly switches when Martha and her husband, Ben (Tim Matheson) attempts to address the situation. When an explosive fight ensues, culminating in Augusta pointing a butcher knife at her parents and later at herself, she begins screaming in a threatening manner: "It's my life! It's my life!"
The movie then cuts to one year earlier with a 14-year-old Augusta worrying about her weight and what her classmates think of her. Owing to the camera angles, it appears that Augusta has a significantly distorted view of herself and is exceptionally dissatisfied with the image that she sees in the mirror. On face value, Augusta appears to be a good-spirited young artist who is slightly perturbed by the fact that although her mother is speaking to her, her mother fails to notice "how fat" her daughter has become. Martha is a divorced businesswoman who appears to have had a good relationship with her daughter.
Underneath the surface, Augusta is very insecure and despises herself. For example, she is overly concerned with her weight and strives to perform well in school. She becomes very anxious when she does not attain perfection and worries about receiving excellent grades in school. Augusta's life becomes complicated and takes a turn for the worse when she becomes friends with Rain (Tamara Hope), the local "bad girl". Augusta then attempts to impress Rain by doing stuff that she would not otherwise do, such as smoking cigarettes. Augusta then adopts a blasé attitude towards her schoolwork, her family, her old friends and her own well-being. Her self-destructive ways cause her life to spiral out of control.
Augusta begins to accept Rain's bad habits and makes a drastic change in her once predictable, sensible and normative life. She begins sneaking out at night, using drugs (even getting her younger brother Jack (Sage Testini) to try marijuana), shoplifting, skipping school, and disrespecting authority. Martha begins to notice the extreme changes in her daughter's behavior and is at a loss at how to help get Augusta back on track. When Augusta calls her mother at work in a state of panic after a drug-laden night, Martha fears for Augusta's safety. Unfortunately, Augusta rejects any form of assistance and insists that she had a cold, and all that she had taken was some medication.
At one point in the film, Augusta screams at her mother to give up on her. It is apparent that Martha is not prepared to turn her back on Augusta. With nowhere to turn, Martha goes to a counselor for help. Augusta is quick to dismiss any intervention that her mother makes. The counselor tells Martha that in order to be saved, Augusta must attend a rehabilitation center for teens. Hesitant at first, Martha finally agrees.
Martha's pain is exacerbated because Mother's Day is the agreed upon date for Augusta's departure. The police find Augusta, and she is sent to the rehabilitation center. During the transfer Augusta angrily tells her mother that she hates her, and that she is dead to her. Martha is left in tears.
During the program Augusta meets Bridget, a young girl who discloses to Augusta that she was raped by her father's best friend. They become closer when Bridget convinces Augusta to stop cutting herself. Throughout rehab, Augusta begins to appreciate the consequences of her misbehavior. At the end, Augusta seems to have changed, but the counselors don't think that she has been fully rehabilitated. Against Augusta's will, she is sent with Bridget to a special school for juvenile delinquents.
At the school, Augusta meets a counselor named Rose who finally is able to reach her. She sits down with her parents, confesses what she has done and asks for forgiveness. She lists all the drugs that she has tried and even discloses that she felt suicidal at times. Although her parents are shocked, they are relieved that Augusta has become more open and coherent about her lifestyle.
Martha accepts and assures Augusta that she will always be loved and that she will never give up on her. Rose lets Augusta spend time with her parents only if she promises not to run away. What finally gets Augusta to change her ways and realize how good she really has it is seeing Bridget, who has nothing to return to, die of a drug overdose.
After the traumatic experience, Augusta, who feels she is successfully rehabilitated, runs away from the program and gets in touch with her mother and asks to go home. Martha agrees but only if Augusta promises to reform. Augusta promises, and gets a bus home. Martha meets her at the bus stop, and mother and daughter embrace, while Ben and Jack happily reunite with her as well.
It is after this embrace when Augusta and her family walk away from the bus stop, the audience sees the real Martha and Augusta smiling into the camera.
- Sharon Lawrence as Martha Tod Dudman
- Tim Matheson as Ben Dudman
- Mika Boorem as Augusta Dudman
- Tamara Hope as Rain
- Katie Stuart as Bridget
- Sage Testini as Jack Dudman
- Currie Graham as John
- Gabrielle Rose as Rose
- Andrea Whitburn as Daisy
- Giacomo Baessato as Bennett
- Jaren Brandt Bartlett as Vincent
- Patricia Dahlquist as Lillian
- Martha Tod Dudman as Herself
- Augusta Dudman as Herself
Augusta, Gone was nominated for two Prism Awards, one for Tamara Hope (Performance in a TV-Movie) and the other for Sharon Lawrence (Performance in a TV-Movie).
The film was released on Region 2 DVD on August 8, 2007, in Widescreen format, with Dutch subtitles. On July 31, 2012 the film was released in a package of 4 Lifetime movies on DVD titled 'Surviving High School'.