Danny is despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused of killing another man and sentenced to death.Danny is despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused of killing another man and sentenced to death.Danny is despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused of killing another man and sentenced to death.
From the title alone I had no specific hopes for this film other than just using it to fill a bit of time while I did some ironing. However, once it opens with a well-directed and atmospheric moment of madness crossed with flashbacks I was taken by it and held with it even if it never consistently reached that height again. The plot is straightforward but has some surprisingly dark elements within it that make it worth seeing. The haunted character of Danny is the main reason that it is interesting, whether it be in the dialogue or in the visual touches (such as Danny and the raccoon coming face to face with much shared emotion).
Of course a big part of this working was a great performance from Clark who really gets into his character and dominates the film in an impressive manner. His performance is also helped by the good direction that frames interesting shots throughout the film, is imaginative when it needs to be and uses shadows really well; only in the final few minutes did I feel it lost this tone and delivered a morally satisfying that was required by the period. Support playing from Russell, Barrymore and others is OK but nobody really gets close to Clark; that said, it is amusing to see early appearances from Bridges and Morgan in small roles.
Overall this is an enjoyable film that feels quite imaginative despite its rather straightforward narrative on the surface. The direction produces a good atmosphere and clever shots while the material has a moral darkness and complexity to it that works well even if it does tend to chicken out near the end. All this is delivered really well by Clark who eats up the scenery in some scenes while also being able to internalise a lot of stuff surprisingly well for what came across as a rather low budget affair. Worth seeing for what it does well.
- bob the moo
- Mar 27, 2005