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Giles De'Ath is a widower who doesn't like anything modern. He goes to movies and falls in love with film star Ronnie Bostock. He then investigates everything about the movie and Ronnie. After that he travels to Long Island City, where Ronnie lives, and meets him, pretending that Ronnie is a great actor, and that's why Giles admires him.
When the mailman delivers mail to Ronnie Bostock's mailbox,he raises the mailbox flag, presumably to signal to the resident that mail has been delivered. (Ronnie's girlfriend, seeing the mailbox flag has been raised, seems to interpret the signal accordingly.) Although it may be the convention for mail delivery wherever the director/writer is from, it is not the case on Long Island, where it is the custom for the resident to raise the mailbox flag to alert the mailman that mail is in the mailbox waiting to be picked up. Once the mail has been picked up, the mailman lowers the flag - the opposite of what occurred in the film. See more »
It is so difficult to know where I should begin, especially when, unlike you, I already know the ending. But let us say that this story began with end of another.
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John Hurt just doesn't get the credit he deserves, I think. He's a consistently great actor who often adds so much more to a film than many other bigger names would. This film is a prime example of him taking a role and truly making it his own.
Hurt plays Giles De'Ath, a most formal English author who, as a radio interviewer puts it, doesn't have much use for the 20th century. He would have even less use for a movie named 'Hotpants College II,' except that when he accidentally happens to view it, he's struck like a thunderbolt by the vision of an actor on the screen, Ronnie Bostock, played by Jason Priestly. From that moment on, De'Ath comes to life in his obsession for the young man and his elaborate plans to meet him. Having been taken care of by a housekeeper these many years, De'Ath struggles with the most ordinary tasks as he lives out his obsession. He buys teenage girls' magazines at the newsstand and furtively disposes of them lest anyone find out his secret. He purchases a videocassette recorder to watch Ronnie's films, not realizing that a television is also necessary for their viewing. Then when he goes to Bostock's home town on Long Island in hopes of tracking him down, he's almost like The Man Who Fell to Earth, being alone in such an alien culture. His behavior is as obsessive as any stalker, but he must be the most genteel stalker there ever was.
Watching Hurt go through this routine during the movie's first half is so fascinating and so entertaining that the film actually hits a bit of a stall when he finally does meets the object of his desire, but it rights itself quickly and comes to a nice conclusion. Some might hope for a more wildly dramatic ending, but I was satisfied.
Jason Priestly does a fine job here in what is basically a thankless role, in that by this film's nature, he's constantly upstaged by Hurt's performance, like Othello is by Iago, or Nick Nolte was by Eddie Murphy in '48 HRS.,' if that's not too jolting of a comparison. I found it fascinating, what some might call a "little" film except that it displays some large talents.
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