Saturday, November 14, 2015
10,000 SAINTS (2015)
Written & Directed By: Sheri Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini
Based On The Novel By: Eleanor Henderson
Cinematography By: Ben Hutchins
Editor: Robert Pulcini
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch, Emily Mortimer, Julianne Nicholson, Avan Jogia
Follows three screwed up young people and their equally screwed up parents in the age of CBGB's, yuppies and the tinderbox of gentrification that exploded into the Tompkins Square Park Riots in New York's East Village in the 1980s.
I went into this film mostly blind. I knew it was a coming of age tale. That took place in the 80's and I knew the cast, but that was mostly it. I am glad that was all I knew. As this film really impressed me. It follows some cliches but just when you think you know what is going to happen the film actually manages to surprise you and not in small subtle ways. As the film tries to portray them, but almost as shocking as when the characters themselves experience or learn about them.
Not exactly sugar coated, but not cruel either when it comes to it's characters and story. It manages a nice middle ground. That leaves the audience pleased and hopeful.
The film begins starkly and then generally settles into a rough edged yet sweet vie that reeks of openness and free love. As well as makeshift families of support.
Most of the action of the film is the results of one night and how it affects each of the characters throughout the whole film. In positive and negative ways.
The film really belongs to more the teen actors. It's not some picture perfect models going through the motions the actors always feel real and like kids. So that when we see their bad behavior we get shocked as they are so young doing such bad things.
The writer-director team of Sheri Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini really make this film feel special, As it is filled with a lot of heart. Not necessarily sweet. They have always managed in their films whether comedic or dramatic to make us care about the characters. By giving them a certain dignity even in times of desperation and being selfish. Though always grind the characters in a certain gritty earthiness that paves the way for believability and humanity.
The film also managed to recreate 80's New York in a believable way
Here once again Ethan Hawke plays a troubled father who had arrested development issues. Here though his character is more a low level marijuana grower and dealer. Though he might not be the most responsible father. Nor the most straight arrow. Never it seems is he monogamous, though Without a doubt he loves his kids. And ends up being the proper father figure as he has little judgment and no filter. But is always willing to help and advise. Even if not get directly involved. I have to give it to Mr. Hawke as he gets older I find him to be a stronger and more defined actor. His choices are more clear.
He has the onto adult role in the film. That is allowed a deep characterization and also makes the most out of what he is given. As everything keeps coming back to him in a way.
Emile Hirsch is also a standout as a sort of adult character who seems youthful and has a certain calm. Despite the squalor and craziness around him. He is a genuine character who gets into conflicting emotions and realizes at a certain point growing up. You have to deal with certain compromises that might seem like selling out. Though in reality it might be what's best or what you think is best. Can't say I necessarily identify with any of this film, but it did make me feel and engaged me throughout.
Coming of age tale that feels more mature, grounded and oddly more responsible. Even considering the subject matters and the questionable behavior of it's characters. As at first they seem to be of low moral standards. Though some prove to have a decency never even thought possible of them.
Feels like it goes out of the way to forge it's own path. That's admirable as I feels somewhat typical, but not exactly regular. It has a little more flavor to it. Nor does it make the future for it's characters look so unforgiving and tragic of it doesn't go a certain way. In fact it Sets itself up for tragedy that it gets out of the way early
At first I couldn't predict where this movie was going. Experiencing it moment by Moment. Then once you figure it out. It manages to charm and surprise. Though it might feel a little run of the mill for the bests it hits in this coming of age tale.
It also has a bit of the rebellious spirit the characters seem to strive to live. Here also the details seem a little more stressful and hardcore though ultimately also convenient.
It seems like it is going to be messy and dirty and ends up kind of neat.
The film also introduces actors who we have seen grow up on screen into more adult roles. Which is exciting as they more than prove they have the talent to play the roles. I really like this film and while I don't see it being a classic. It is a nice little film that makes a quiet impact and impresses all around.