22 February 2013 2:00 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Bless Me, Ultima

Directed by Carl Franklin

Written by Carl Franklin

USA, 2013

Bless Me, Ultima seems designed for high-school English teachers desperate to spruce up their lesson plans near the end of a school year or semester. By itself, the film is sincere and earnest to a fault, and charming if too episodic and rushed, but referring to the book on which the film is based would presumably allow you to appreciate this condensed version a bit more. Bless Me, Ultima is apparently constrained by the strictures of feature-film conventions, specifically the idea that such a film must be short; the adaptation attempts to connect two disparate strands of a child’s coming of age, and as noble as the effort is, it doesn’t quite mesh.

Luke Ganalon plays Antonio, a little boy growing up in New Mexico, circa 1944. The story starts when Antonio’s parents (Benito Martinez and »

- Josh Spiegel

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