11 November 2008 | claudio_carvalho
Fatherhood, Remorse and Redemption
After a tragic accident caused by the truck of the middle-aged Carl Lee (John Heard) where a woman dies with a crushed stern, he is arrested and sent to the county jail. His son PJ (Thomas Guiry), who works washing dishes and cleaning tables in a restaurant, feels lost, without financial support to keep his father's house, and is fired from his job and evicted from his house. His older brother Ben (Clayne Crawford) is a harder worker in a mill with a little daughter and cheats his wife with a bartender. Ben has open wounds in his relationship with his father and does not visit him in the jail. Carl's brother Vic Lee (Raymond J. Barry) helps PJ bringing him home but demanding discipline and respect. PJ's mother has just left her husband and is living with a policeman. On Christmas, the remorseful Carl forces PJ to keep an overwhelming secret that bonds them.
"Steel City" is a low-budget movie that seems to be a very personal family drama, supported by magnificent performances and solid, simple and credible screenplay about people not well succeeded losers indeed. A father with remorse for leaving his family has a second chance to redeem himself in behalf of his young son and he sacrifices his freedom to compensate his absence in his childhood and adolescence. Therefore this is a beautiful tale of redemption but never being corny or commercial. On the contrary, most of the characters are not nice, and I dare to say that they are unpleasant with their rude behaviors. Nevertheless "Steel City" is a worthy movie. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Atrás das Grades" ("Behind Bars")