After stabbing an autistic boy, the sixteen year old troubled and pessimist Leland P. Fitzgerald is sent to a juvenile detention. His teacher and aspirant writer Pearl Madison gets close and tries to understand him, first with intention of writing a book, and later becoming his friend. Leland slowly discloses his sad vision of world. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A recurring element of the film is the fact that Leland doesn't have any contact with his father, absent ever since his childhood. Ryan Gosling never shares any scenes with Kevin Spacey and in the courtroom sequence, even though both characters are present, they're never in the same frame. See more »
When Leland is watching the basketball game with the other inmate, the sun is shining through the window, however, the shadows outside are cast in wrong direction. See more »
When I say I don't remember that day, I'm not lying. Wish I did, but I just don't. Sometimes the most important stuff goes away. Goes away so bad, it's like it was never there to begin with. It's funny the stuff that sticks in your head. I could tell you forward and backward about one day when I was five, and my dad bought me a stupid ice cream cone. I could tell you the flavor of the ice cream. It was pick bubblegum. Even stuff about the girl who scooped it out. Her hair was fire ...
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Written by Frank Black (as Black Francis)
Performed by Pixies (as The Pixies)
Copyright 1990 Rice and Beans Music (BMI)
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group/4AD
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
There are subtleties in this film that I think a lot of people may miss if they're not careful. You really need to follow what Leland says and read his character to figure out the intended "why" the movie presents at the end. Nothing it solid, it's not definite, it's about what the individual viewer takes out of it. I think that was the plan from the get-go, people aren't meant to all understand it in the same way, it's almost about forming your own personal relationship with Leland in order to maybe feel him a little better.
The storyline is interesting but its summary could never explain what the movie really is. It's dramatic and thought provoking, a lot of heavy ideas, but the pace of the movie is almost soothing, even with its more intense scenes with yelling. I think it's probably Leland, he's just calm and almost serene, even for all of his sadness. The movie personifies Leland in a way.
Of course it is captivating and draws you in if you let it, but there are some recycled ideas. I mean, Leland has a lot of impressive dialogue, he is anything but typical, but he's not a prophet. Everything he says is not a revelation, many people I know have mentioned things he mentioned, even I have observed a few things he's observed. Leland is the unique and attractive character he is probably mostly for Ryan Gosling's portrayal.
In the end the acting is all exceptional, there are no real bad guys, there is no way to psychologically evaluate Leland, only to maybe understand him and life a little better.
Comparable to Igby Goes Down I think, not comedic, but similar in its general outlook on life.
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