With World War 2 looming, a prominent family in China must confront the contrasting ideas of traditionalism, communism and Western thinking, while dealing with the most important ideal of all: love and its meaning in society.
Jack is a wanderer whose aimless roaming leads him to a number of interesting locations and into the company of many interesting people, and despite his fascination with bullfighting he ... See full summary »
Fact-based story about a Pasadena cab driver who picks up what he believes is a routine fare, an elderly woman on her way to a funeral. However, the wealthy woman is soon is insisting that ... See full summary »
Polish 12 year-young city Jew Romek gets a crash-course in Catholicsim from his daddy ('stay hanging by your arms till your prayers are perfect') so he can be sent away and escape deportation (Auschwitz?) hiding in the country where the clergy found a host, Gniecio's simple peasant family, posing as their city relative. Gniecio's eldest son Vladek proves rather tyrannical but no brighter then gullible junior Tollo, who takes a role play in catechism class to 'become' a Last Supper character, in his case Jesus, to the extreme, even training for a crucifixion from a tree. Neighbor Batylin and his wife are executed by the Nazis when their illegally kept pig is found. Kluba plays a dirty trick when Gniecio tries to sell his in the city; his son is as problematic for the boys, who meanwhile play involving a single girl-playmate, Maria, who takes Romek in when he's stupidly thrown out by his widowed host by mistake. The horror of war itself suddenly shows its ugly head again, big time and ... Written by
This is a must of Haley Joel Osment fans, of course, though some might be disappointed in the Polish accent that the film requires from HJO. He is the star of the film, no doubt, but the other kids (both boys and girls) are just as much a part of the story, and are wonderful young actors. Willem Defoe as the priest is fine, though he's not a very good pig-chaser (okay, that's an inside joke, for those who've seen the film). Liam Hess, who plays the younger brother in the family that the Haley character is living with to avoid being rounded up by the Nazis, is the best of the group, and the most sympathetic of the characters. Some of the plot situations he goes through seem a bit far-fetched, but the underlying allegory that his character embodies is mostly effectively drawn, and comes to an emotional conclusion. All of the Nazis portrayed in this movie are monsters as human beings, with no attempt made to find even one sympathetic German character in the group. There is some balance in the Polish characterizations, though, as some are good people, and some are bad.
As for the reason this hasn't been released in the U.S. yet, I found nothing that should keep it out of the theaters. The one nude scene with young Liam Hess is certainly innocent enough, and the rape scene involving a couple of the other young actors/actresses was emotionally moving, without being too graphic for anyone who's not running for office somewhere and trying to make a name for themself. The dvd is a first rate product.
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