Due to the death of his mother, 15 yr old Charley must live with his unloving bully father. Out of loneliness, Charley strikes up an illicit romance with 29 yr old Eban. When their families...
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Javier De Pietro,
Due to the death of his mother, 15 yr old Charley must live with his unloving bully father. Out of loneliness, Charley strikes up an illicit romance with 29 yr old Eban. When their families find out, they must make a life altering decision. Written by
A surprisingly subtle work worthy of a second look.
The film suffers on the big screen, due in part to the tech limitations of the digicam process and the somewhat hard-to-catch inflections of actor Giovanni Andrade (teenage Charley). The first half is slow, moody, and unwilling to tip its hand: one feels ambivalence toward the Brent Fellows character (Eban, age 29). Publicity shots show Fellows to be an acceptably handsome actor; but when we first see Eban, he is pale, stooped, unshaven, and the picture of a shattered soul. Those who leave at the midpoint--and I was tempted--will miss Eban's agonizingly slow growth, his gradual reawakening to warmth and human contact. They will also miss getting to know Charley, brought to life in Andrade's astonishingly detailed and sensitive portrayal through characteristic, near-dancelike movements and a slow, hesitant manner of speaking that rings absolutely true. If the parental figures are saddled with trite dialogue and minimal characterizations, I am more than willing to believe that this is fully intended by director James Bolton in service to his vision. I have now viewed the film three times, the last on DVD, and found more to admire each time around. (The DVD brings warmth to the faces of the principles not evident on the big screen.) In all, this is an admirable, subtle, and sensitive work that asks a lot of the audience, but gives a lot in return.
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