Bobby Platt (Christian Bale) is a mentally slow young man who escapes an abusive, hateful stepfather who has killed his pets one by one. To save himself, Bobby runs away and meets a strange...
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Bobby Platt (Christian Bale) is a mentally slow young man who escapes an abusive, hateful stepfather who has killed his pets one by one. To save himself, Bobby runs away and meets a strange old man (Sir John Hurt) who wanders the highways to bury roadkill animals. Bobby becomes the old man's apprentice and learns to see the world of nature in a strange idyllic way. But soon the shadow of his stepfather catches up to him and Bobby's world explodes into a grotesque nightmare.Written by
There is more cheese in the second quick shot of the mice eating cheese, than in the first. See more »
It's funny. I can see my old self quite clearly. Remembering how I felt is much, much harder. Sometimes feelings come back to me when I'm digging, or in a dream. But mostly he's gone, that earlier me, who could hardly do anything, or even think anything. I mean I could read a bit, I could write a bit. I could talk... but I hardly ever did.
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Until it takes a darker turn during its latter stages, there's a quiet dignity at the heart of this unusual drama, the directorial debut of producer Jeremy Thomas, based on a novel by Walker Hamilton. Christian Bale - a long way from EMPIRE OF THE SUN and two years from American PSYCHO - plays a mentally impaired young man who runs away from his creepy stepfather (Daniel Benzali) in the wake of his mother's death and ends up in Cornwall, where he befriends an eccentric hermit (John Hurt) whose fondness for animals strikes a healing chord within Bale's damaged psyche. Together, they set out to bury the dead creatures they find around their ramshackle home in the forest, many of them killed by traffic on lonely country roads.
Characterized by its magical performances (Bale is utterly convincing as the 10 year old boy trapped in a 25 year old's body) and eye-popping, panoramic vistas of the English landscape, the film offers a gentle reminder of mankind's place in the natural scheme of things, though Thomas makes his point without stooping to preachiness or obvious metaphors. In an amusing turnabout from standard Hollywood practices, this UK-lensed film features an American actor (Benzali) playing a Brit villain, the catalyst for a late-breaking plot development which some may find overly melodramatic. By turns humane, frightening and beautiful, this isn't a movie for all tastes, but adventurous viewers will be rewarded for their patience. A possible cult in the making.
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