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William, a once obese and troubled teen, goes back to his family's home after being gone, without word, for ten years and finds it (and his family) haunted with his past. He had moved to the city and become a fit, well-adjusted gay man, but during his visit home, he becomes unhinged as the newly remembered reasons for his miserable adolescence come to life in each of their presents. Written by
Tom Hunt Brooks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[to her brother William:]
Could you get dressed, Willie, I wanna get out of here.
Where ya goin'?
Teen Sweet William:
There's a stupid dance at school.
You goin' to a dance? Oh, dear God in heaven!
[to granddaughter Rosemary]
Now, you know to count to six?
If you're gonna kiss a boy, you got to count to six while you're doin' it. And then stop! After six it's a sin.
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Sometimes overly poetic in its gardening parallels, this story of a young man who returns to home after a number of years is intense, mysterious, and certainly not lacking in style. In a unique mixture of flashback fantasy sequences, where characters in the past actually interact with those in the present, we see an overweight teenager come to grips with his homosexuality and the returning adult come to grips with his childhood self.
This is an amazing directorial debut, and the abundance of cinematic tricks are a welcome storytelling tool. Virgin Mary Icons smile at us; a grown man witnesses the suicide he committed in his youth.
The director chooses not to draw thick boundaries around the sexuality of his characters, but doesn't fall into the trap of making them frustratingly ambiguous. Often this leaves the sour aftertaste of homophobia.
The mysterious final chapter closes without the pomp and glory that more established directors might have resorted to. It's subtlety complements its outlandishness in a way that doesn't leave you confused.
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