Like most kids, Ned idolized his father and dreamed of following in his footsteps. Unfortunately, his father was a two-bit crook who spent most of his life in jail. Without a family of his ... See full summary »
David E. Allen
After 20 years on the road with Blue Oyster Cult, Jimmy Testagros returns to his hometown to life with his ailing mother. Complications arise when he falls for an old friend, who is now married to his longtime nemesis.
Michael Cuesta (who previously directed the slick and grotesquely controversial "L.I.E" and is currently one of the masterminds behind Showtime's wildly entertaining and grotesque "Dexter") treads some very dangerous ground with "Twelve and Holding." Working with a solid script focusing on how three best friends cope with the accidental death of another friend (the more popular twin brother of one of the protagonists), he presents pre-adolescent characters with the psychologically complex motives of adults and we witness their pratfalls, tragedies, and heart wrenching moments in a the same type of voyeuristic manner usually reserved for more mature characters and audiences. Elements of classics like "Stand by Me" keep the film grounded even as some of the plot developments get a bit far-fetched.
The acting is a huge plus here, with Annabella Sciora (getting more and more enchanting and beautiful with age), Jayne Atkinson (brutal, honest, and gut-wrenching as the grieving mother of the dead child), and Connor Donovan (in duel leads as the dead boy and his conflicted twin brother) highlighting the excellent ensemble. Cuesta's surprisingly subtle direction somehow manages to avoid both the salacious tendencies of a Larry Clark film and the annoyingly overt quirkiness of similarly themed films like "Me and You and Everyone we Know" to deliver a profound and perplexing tale of coming-of-age, revenge and loneliness.
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