Son of Rambow!
Boy on the left is Will, the only son in a family that’s part of some fundamentalist “Brethren” that disables him from movies, TV, breathing, etc. Will’s dad died some years back. He draws all over his Bible, like even over all the words, and he also works on a mural that runs all around one of the stalls in the boy’s bathroom at school. Boy on the right is Lee, who gets in trouble a lot, and copies bootlegged movies for his older brother to sell. His latest: First Blood.
I’m so rarely a fan of quirky things. I’ve historically been a fan of quirky things, but I’m finding myself less endeared by them. And sure, this movie has its share of quirk, specifically in Didier, the cigarette-smoking new-wave French exchange student that casts Will & Lee’s entire school under his bizarre spell.
Also, there are animations dropped on the frame as Will has various daydreams, and one could easily imagine this whole movie directed by Michel Gondry. It’s like a mashup of The Science of Sleep and Be Kind, Rewind. Why those movies left me mostly bored and this one made me happy I can’t quite articulate. I think it has something to do with the possibility here of real danger, and the existence of cruelty and betrayal.
This is the best movie I’ve seen that I read about months and months ago and that people on the coasts have long forgotten since, oh, Hamlet 2.