Hearts in Atlantis
When middle-aged photographer Bobby Garfield learns that his boyhood friend has been killed in a car accident, he travels to his old home and neighborhood to rekindle the memories of his 11th summer:
Bobbie lives with his self-obsessed and “poor” mother (Davis) in a small New England flat. Their lives are turned enchantingly upside down when a strange old man named Ted Brautigan (Hopkins) moves in upstairs. Soon, Ted hires Bobby to read the local newspaper daily in exchange for ice-cold Hires root beer and a dollar a week. It is more than just reading the paper, though, as Bobby soon finds out. He learns that his main job is to warn Ted of the roaming danger that threatens him, the dangers that has kept him on the run for years. Bobbie accepts the task, knowing that their magical friendship may come to end at any time. Through Ted and the events of his last summer as a child, Bobby discovers courage, learns the power of friendship, and ultimately finds that one of life’s best qualities is forgiving the ones you love.
Skillfully directed by Hicks (Shine, Snow Falling on Cedars) and masterfully photographed by the late Anton Yelchin (15 Minutes), this is a beautifully written and uncanny coming of age tale that reflects the older films of Frank Capra or John Ford. Watching this film was like reading a good book. It was hard for me to take my eyes off of the screen, and I viewed every cut as though it was the page of a wonderful novel. While I usually take notes during films I review, I found myself so captivated by this film that I only got as far as writing the title down on my little pad. Halfway through, I realized I was clenching my note taking devices, so I gladly put away the pen and paper knowing that I could not forget a movie like this! It is hard to recommend because of the use of “Jesus” as an exlamation by the young lead in one scene. If they could have edited that out, I would tell you to rush for the theaters.