Pete, an eight-year-old Catholic boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-1970s, attends Catholic school, where as classes let out for the summer, he's admonished by a nun to ...
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Pete, an eight-year-old Catholic boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-1970s, attends Catholic school, where as classes let out for the summer, he's admonished by a nun to follow the path of the Lord, and not that of the Devil. Perhaps taking this message a bit too seriously, Pete decides it's his goal for the summer to help someone get into heaven; having been told that Catholicism is the only sure path to the kingdom of the Lord, Pete decides to convert a Jew to Catholicism in order to improve their standing in the afterlife. Hoping to find a likely candidate, Pete begins visiting a nearby synagogue, where he gets to know Rabbi Jacobson, who responds to Pete's barrage of questions with good humor. Pete also makes friends with the Rabbi's son, Danny, who is about the same age; when he learns that Danny is seriously ill, he decides Danny would be an excellent choice for conversion. When the priest at Pete's church informs Pete that all will be tested before they pass the... Written by
Having finally seen `Stolen Summer' I was more surprised than anyone to find the film extremely fetching. I thought it was well made and well acted. It was written and directed by a total novice, Pete Jones, who won a contest- as silly as that sounds. There are scenes that can be called schmaltzy but they seem to fit in with the mood of the picture and feel deserved; they're not simply tacked on as emotional buttons like in lesser screenplays. I hate watching kids in movies because they usually go hand and hand with loud noises and special effects. However, this screenplay gives these kids some heavy-duty subject matter to explore and their performances are intriguing. One might complain the film doesn't have any visual flair or creative camera angles and such. I think the film captures the austere sluggishness of the 1970's rather well.
After reading the external reviews for this movie I had to write a comment. One would think all the nation's critics united against this film. One reviewer said `There are probably at least nine people who will sit all the way through the well-meaning but inert `Stolen Summer'. What's that mean? Did the guy watch twenty minutes of it and split? Are professional critics allowed to do that? I find that incredibly aggravating. I think all people involved in the film business are eventually driven to this kind of cynicism and contempt. I myself was rather turned off watching `Project Greenlight' on HBO. I realize making movies is an expensive enterprise but there's got to be a better way next time than what Jones went through. They had his you-know-what's in a vice the entire time and treated him like he was just touring Universal Studios for the day. I guess Hollywood is finally letting us in on their secret that any schmuck off the street can make a movie because in the end it's the executives who really make all the decisions. The director might as well devote his time to the catering concerns.
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