Sensitive, somewhat effeminate farm-boy Duncan Mudge can barely cope with grim, since Ma's death even gloomier father Edgar's manly expectations, and seeks comfort in petting a chicken he ...
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Sensitive, somewhat effeminate farm-boy Duncan Mudge can barely cope with grim, since Ma's death even gloomier father Edgar's manly expectations, and seeks comfort in petting a chicken he associates with his late Ma. Macho mate Perry Foley, who has it physically even harder on his dad's farm, usually comforts Duncan and defends his 'wimpiness' to their cocky ruffian mates Travis, Scotty and Brent. But although clearly attracted to gentle gentile Ducan himself, the socially unacceptable suggestion of 'sissy' homosexuality makes Perry over-react and turn on his friend.Written by
Michael Burke developed the screenplay for the film at a Sundance Labs in 2000. Burke says of inspiration for the film: "Growing up in rural Vermont, I wanted to tell a story about a kid too sensitive for the harsh environment in which he was raised." See more »
It's always difficult to watch a film where we know more about the protagonist than he (or she) knows about himself. That's the case here: it's obvious to us viewers from fairly early on that Duncan Mudge has some significant homoerotic attractions. When he would turn out to be "gay" or not when his adolescence is over we don't know, and it's really irrelevant (except that he seems a little on the old side for still being in that sexually indeterminate stage). What we are asked to deal with is a sensitive young man in a particularly insensitive corner of a culture that is becoming more and more callous to the inner lives of young people by the day. We're not told exactly when the action takes place, but we have to assume it's pre-Internet; otherwise we'd fault the character for not reaching out that way. In any case, Emile Hirsch does a fine job with a difficult role, and leaves us wounded on his behalf, but not without hope that the whole experience will in the long run have made him, and perhaps us as well, a better human being.
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