2 November 1998 | Troyboy
In reading reviews of this film, I often came across criticisms such as lack of character development and plotless to the point of boring, but this film is anything but so. At times it can slow down and lose your attention, but if you keep paying attention to all 84 minutes of it, it is ultimately a rewarding film; one of the most rewarding I've seen in a while. Films are a visual medium and reliance on the other arts (such as the script) can often deter from what pure film can do. Through beautiful cinematography, camera angles and compositions, Davies gives a portrait of childhood more heartbreaking and affecting than most I've seen. Every shot melts into the next one with such precision, it's as if poetry is being written with a camera. Music flows through the film with the same precision, creating a profound emotional effect in every scene. Though the acting is minimal, the mother and Bud (Marjorie Yates and Leigh McCormack) are faultless. Bud's childhood obviously mirrors the director's own life. He is a shy and sensitive boy who many don't understand (except for his family) and who is dismissed by many of his peers as a "fruit." Bud's possible blossoming homosexuality is handled very subtly. As a matter of fact, everything about this film is subtle, including his love of the movies which is rarely merely shown on the screen. Much of the film is suffused with bits of dialogue and songs from films, showing that this is a part of his life. Whenever Orson Welles' narration from The Magnificent Amberson's comes on, you feel warm contented, just as Bud seems to be. You feel certain that this boy will become a great filmmaker some day. And he did.