Shy and withdrawn, Nathan (played by Stephan Bender) is new to his school, unusually smart (a grade ahead) and the silent tension at home nearly unbearable. Mom, Dad, and Nathan have moved constantly, town after town, landing, inexplicably, in god-fearing "St. Francisville, Louisiana". Roy (played by the multi-talented Max Roeg), a year older than Nathan, confident and hard-working, drives the bus to their school while a friendship blooms between them into a relationship that is fraught with confusion and yearning. But secrets pick at the relationship, the unspoken rules of their angst-driven interactions unravel as Nathan's world again comes crashing inwards. Tension crescendos as shame and terror, stress and disaster all compete to immobilize and destroy both of their worlds.Written by
When Nathan meets Roy's mother, she asks if he goes to the Baptist church. Nathan says yes. But when Nathan is seen in church with his family and the preacher reads about Judas's betrayal, there is a large crucifix on the church wall. A second large crucifix is seen on the wall in Nathan's bedroom. Baptist doctrine denounces the use of crucifixes, and no Louisiana Baptist of the 1970s would have one in either their church or home. They are, however, quite common in Roman Catholic churches and homes in Louisiana. See more »
Written and performed by Richard Buckner
Vocals by Patty Griffin
Additional recording by Craig Ross
Mixed by Jon Marshall Smith
Published by Richard Buckner (BMI) administered by Bug
Patty Griffin appears courtesy of ATO Records See more »
Well-made, imperfect, multilayered gem
The direction was exquisite in portraying the allure of the initial phases of attraction. With the skillful editing and the above-average to beautiful cinematography, the movie had a well-paced, rich, atmospheric delivery.
The director, James Bolton, handled the actors deftly. Bolton carefully spent enough time on the characters to let us know the possible layers of meaning of the way they gaze at each other. The two leads were quite effective. Stephen Bender especially provided an intriguing aura to the character. Diana Scarwid and Thomas Jay Ryan were remarkable in their few scenes. Even Randy Wayne, Owen Beckman, and Rooney Mara delivered.
The soundtrack was good but had mixed applications. At the music's best, it delivered subtle meaningful tonal contrasts. At its worst, it was obtrusive and distracting.
I haven't read the book, so I'm judging the screenplay on its own. A gay growing-up story has been told over and over again ad nauseam. This movie had all the clichés. What was interesting was the surreal shift with the potential for multilayered interpretations. Not everyone will like this. Personally, this makes me want to read the book. I was satisfied enough with the delivery of this aspect, but I agree it could have been better. The ending was a unique and thought-provoking way of escaping gay media triteness.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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