A great directorial debut by Jodie Foster, not overly ambitious, but wholly effective. She plays a mother who wants her genius son to have an ordinary life, once his intelligence is discovered, yet in his "normal life," he's a total misfit. The way Foster brings these fragile little egos together is intriguing. The film is also a showcase for Wiest's quirky charms, she adds much humanity to a character who on the surface is unlikable, although it is Foster who gives the more subtle performance. (I disagree with one reviewer at the time who suggested they should have switched roles, it's more interesting seeing them each cast against type.) There are brief but nice supporting turns from Celia Weston and the late Danitra Vance. But it is Adam Hann-Byrd who makes the movie a total pleasure. If The Sixth Sense were made during this time (1991), he would have been the only choice for Haley Joel Osment's role. Never precocious, never going out of his way to pull at heartstrings, he could give several grown-up actors lessons in how to give a nuanced performance. A thoroughly enjoyable film.