An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.
A warm and poignant tale.
In an atmosphere of fantasy, the movie explores several real human issues. The story centers on a mother (Bonnie Bedelia), her young teenage daughter (Lucy Deakins), and her pre-teen son (Fred Savage) as they struggle to cope after the beloved father's sudden passing. Their grief is intensified by the manner of his death and their almost immediately having to adjust to a new life, a new home, a new neighborhood, and for the kids, a new school and new friends. Into this mix enters Eric (Jay Underwood), the apparently autistic teenage boy next door, who is coping with demons of his own as a result of his parents' sudden death in an airplane crash. So grief is involved, and adjustment, and trying to fit in, and acceptance of human differences, and courage, and love - love within a family group and among people, as well as real boy/girl love. Writer-director Nick Castle deals with these issues with respectful sensitivity, as does the excellent ensemble cast of Lucy Deakins, Jay Underwood, Bonnie Bedelia, Fred Savage, Colleen Dewhurst, Fred Gwynne, and Mindy Cohn. That fantasy might be important to plot movement shouldn't be surprising, considering the movie's title. However, whether that fantasy is allegorical or real, or both, is in the eyes of the beholder. In any case, it's a warm and poignant tale, and it deserves a high place in the literature of motion pictures.
- May 16, 2000
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