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Michael Hunter's lovely, beloved 17 year-old son Kyle committed suicide, although he was in therapy for depression. This ruins Michael's marriage, his daughter Shelly moves in with her mother. He stops treating patients in order to write and teach Psychotherapy, until many years later when a student gets him fascinated by the case of Thomas 'Tommy' Caffey. He was about to be released at his 18th birthday from the closed 'boys school' he was placed into after his father, Joseph, was put into jail for beating his adulterous mother to death. Michael feels that Tommy carries a big chip on his shoulder, ignores that Shelly fell for him at first sight, but is mesmerized by Tommy's resemblance (purposefully enhanced) to Kyle. There is also a revealing meeting with Tommy's dad in jail. Written by
A leading psychiatrist has his world turned upside down by a tragic family event. He shuns patients, until being drawn back by a young man who witnessed his father kill his mother, but seems strangely unaffected by the event.
A great script that respects the audience, leaving a lot of information off-screen. When the story moves forward a few years and Garcia and his wife have separated, we fill in the blanks automatically and never have to be told why it happened. Tommy turns up with a car, and we know fine well how he got it, some despicable act cleverly left to our imaginations. Tommy is astoundingly, creepily normal given his circumstances, until his psychosis explodes suddenly. After that he tries in vain to get it back in the box. Garcia has never been better, every inch the grief-stricken father, his expressions nuanced and painful. He handles his 'revelation' in a prison scene near the end with aplomb.
The one downside is a maudlin, overbearing score that draws too much attention to itself.
This is a film that deserves to be better known. Thrillers with this kind of plot seldom have such multi-layered characters, or believable families and settings. An intelligent, rewarding film that I look forward to watching again.
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