A teen with a troubled home life and a penchant for trouble runs with a wrong crowd that constantly gets him in trouble. When his friends steal an older woman's purse, the school principal sees the boy fleeing the scene. When the boy will not involve the friends, he bears the brunt of the crime. In a meeting with his parents, the principal immediately senses the conflict that the boy has is his home life. The principal offers the boy an alternative to being removed from school by working for the woman he robbed until his debt is paid off. Going to her home, he meets her two mentally handicapped sons and the woman, who talks to her deceased husband whom she believes inhabits her garden. Conflicted by the kindness and the love he sees in her family, the boy has to deal with his home strife and the antics of his hoodlum peers. The eventual resolution does offer some surprises along the way. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
With two seasoned veterans on the bill, Gena Rowlands and James Caan, (and an up and coming actor like Kevin Zegers) one would expect a certain quality of acting in this movie... and it does not disappoint. The simple yet beautiful story was handcrafted by Paul Johansson (who was also the films director) and it seems that he took as careful care in the casting as he did in his writing. Each character struck me as unique and genuine and all of the actors served the story rather fittingly. Leslie Hope deserves special notice for her portrayal of Charlie's mother; she is near psychotic most of the times and yet Hope manages to keep things from going over the top. One of the highlights of the film for me was observing the relationship between Mrs. Ritchie's handicapped sons, played by Jeremy Raymond and John Speer. Jeremy Raymond, who I've discovered is actually not handicapped at all, was a delight to watch whenever he was on the screen and a few of the scenes between him and Speers were quite touching in their honesty. This is a wonderful movie that is constructed with great care and it is a fine example of what Canadian film is about.
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