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Miles from Home (I) (2006)

 -  Drama  -  February 2006 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 87 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Plagued by bad influences, bad choices and bad people, Miles finds himself in a seemingly hopeless set of circumstances. When a beautiful friend with an equally beautiful spirit shows him ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Landlord
Taisha Monique Clark ...
Diablo Girl
...
Maddie
Max Crumm ...
Guy hitting on Maddie
Ryan Gill ...
Peaches
...
Lyndsay Griffin ...
Rebecca Conway
...
John Conway
Cheryl Hargrove ...
Crack Addict
...
Chester Brown (as Jerome A. Hawkins)
Melonie Hazman Hayden ...
Church Sister
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Miles Conway
Carnetta Jones ...
Jackie Conway
...
Eva (as Michelle Liberman)
Melonie Mazman Hayden ...
Ann (as Melonie Mazman)
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Plagued by bad influences, bad choices and bad people, Miles finds himself in a seemingly hopeless set of circumstances. When a beautiful friend with an equally beautiful spirit shows him how to find his faith, Miles learns to trust a force greater than himself to face and overcome impossible odds. Written by Joseph Grant

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User Reviews

 
A masterful breakthrough
12 September 2006 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I caught a screening of "Miles from Home" at the Urbanword Vibe Film Festival in June, and it is a must-see. It's a heart-wrenching tale of a troubled 17-year-old named Miles (played by Ty Hodges, also the writer and director) in desperate need of love from someone -- anyone. Separated from his drug-addled and financially strapped single mother, he looks for that love in all the proverbial wrong places.

In the best acting performance I've seen this year, Hodges infuses his character with heartbreaking vulnerability. Miles's silent cries ring out loud and clear as he becomes mired in a world of self-destructive behavior and predatory "friends." Like so many lost youths who fall prey to gangs, he finds a "family" in the form a manipulative clique of street-hustlers. Soon he finds himself employed by the group's mother hen, Keisha, a sleazy pimp who entices the fragile soul with sexual favors and false promises of a better life. Keisha is played excellently by Tasha Smith, a beautiful, statuesque actress/model showing tremendous skill in her first major role.

In an inspired move, filmmaker Hodges gives the often-despondent Miles a voice through narrations delivered by an unhinged alter ego. Hodges, adopting a Dennis Rodman-like appearance, speaks as the equivalent of a devil on Miles' shoulder in unsettling fantasy sequences dispersed throughout the movie. This provides insight into the conflicted emotions that Miles cannot or will not openly express.

An unexpected glimmer of hope comes via Natasha (Meagan Good, who also co-produced the film), a free-spirited college student two years his senior. Good more than fulfills the promise of her auspicious turn at 16 in the 1997 masterpiece "Eve's Bayou" as she breaks from the femme-fatale persona she has acquired in recent years. She plays Natasha as an effusive and initially elfish character who pushes her way into the Miles's life and gives him what he least expects and most needs: a true friend. Natasha is complex mix of flower-child idealism (reminiscent of Goldie Hawn in 1972's "Butterflies Are Free"), unyielding faith in God and the power of prayer, as well as a longing for companionship.

During a Q&A after the screening, Hodges mentioned that Good sought the project to show her ability to stretch from her sexy on screen image. And stretch she does. Her performance is nothing short of a revelation. The same goes for the film and especially the multi-talented Hodges.

Here's hoping that "Miles from Home" not only finds an audience but the legion of admirers it most certainly deserves.


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