The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, N.Y., during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints.
Dito, a writer in L.A., goes home to Astoria, Queens, after a 15-year absence when his mother calls to say his father's ill. In a series of flashbacks we see the young Dito, his parents, his four closest friends, and his girl Laurie, as each tries to navigate family, race, loyalty, sex, coming of age, violence, and wanting out. A ball falls onto the subway tracks at a station, small things get out of hand. Can Dito go home again? Written by
Many of the locations used in the film were the same places where the actual events had occurred. The conversation between Dito and Flori in the early morning for example is down the street from where the real Antonio had lived. Dito Montiel joked that many of his childhood friends would hang around the set for filming and tell the actors "I never would have said that." See more »
After Mike introduces Frank and Dito, the trio leaves Franks apartment. The cross the street and start to discuss wages, Job - from the bible, and Frank tells Mike he gets a raise. "well you just got a raise then, for the band". As soon as he finishes "for the band" there is a pay phone emerging from the left side of the screen. Verizon. The year is 1986 in the movie, however Verizon Wireless began operations on April 4, 2000. WSII. See more »
In the end - just like I said - I left everything, and everyone. But no one, no one has ever left me.
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A small scene is shown in the end credits while "New York Groove" is playing. See more »
I was lucky enough to catch the last showing of "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" at my local theater, and man, was I surprised. I haven't seen a film with such an accurate and heart wrenching portraits of troubled youths since "Kids".
"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" gives us a glimpse into the life of Dito Montiel (Shia Labouf, with Robert Downey Jr. as the older version) growing up on the streets of Astoria, Queens in 1986. When he leaves for California, he leaves behind his best friend and resident tough guy Antonio (Channing Tatum, with Eric Roberts playing the older version), his caring mother (Diane Wiest) and tough love father (Chazz Palminteri), his girlfriend Laurie (Melonie Diaz, with Rosario Dawson as the older version), and pretty much everyone else he knew.
First time director Dito Montiel does a stellar job of establishing characters and their relationships. He also does a great job directing scenes that seem so real (thnks to some superb acting by the cast), it almost seems like a documentary. A huge round of applause goes to the cast for their performances.
The ending wasn't really cohesive with the script. I didn't leave knowing what happened with Dito and his family and friends. Other than that, there's not a single bad moment.
"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" is raw, gritty, and stunning. There's not a single disappointing scene in the movie.
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