A film of real quality whose strengths might be a tad too familiar, Hearts in Atlantis
is based on a chunk of a Stephen King novel which reprises the themes found in the film Stand By Me
. David Morse--in the traditional role of grown-up version of the kid--goes to his old home for a funeral, which triggers a film-length flashback to the early 1960s. Eleven-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) lives with a brittle, disappointed single mum (Hope Davis) until his life is transformed by the influence of an elderly man, Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins), who moves into the apartment above and hires the kid to read for him, also imparting temporarily some of his psychic power and beseeching him to be on the look-out for the sinister "low men" pursuing him.
Screenwriter William Goldman prunes the supernatural/science fictional elements, leaving vague the origins of the low men who could as easily be an evil government organisation or the mob as pursuers from another dimension; director Scott Hicks (Shine) spends much more time on golden, melancholic nostalgia and imparting harsh and tender life lessons. Hopkins plays a benevolent Hannibal Lecter, dispensing wisdom and posing elegantly, but turning up the chill for a few scary King-type scenes. The kids are excellent, and Davis shows promise in a difficult role.
On the DVD: Hearts in Atlantis on disc offers the trailer, a gallery of stills (Hicks horns his way into most of them), a 29-minute one-to-one interview between the director and Hopkins that teases out some interesting material. Also included is a thoughtful and detailed if unassuming commentary track from Hicks. --Kim Newman
audio in italianotornato nella sua cittadina d'origine per assistere al funerale di un suo amico di infanzia, bobby garfield comincia un viaggio nei suoi ricordi. la sua memoria lo porta a far rivivere la madre e, soprattutto, l'uomo che per bobby ha rappresentato la figura paterna e che possedeva il dono di leggere nell'animo altrui.