30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Excellent rendition of Jim Grimsley's novel,
This review is from: Dream Boy [DVD] (DVD)
Director James Bolton has done a truly excellent job of the (inevitably difficult) task of transposing Jim Grimsley's superb novel to screen. (Those who have read the novel will be pleased to note that the film remains largely faithful to the book - and viewing it does not subvert the novel in ways that film adaptations have the tendency to do.)
15-year-old Nathan (Stephan Bender) arrives with his parents into a small, religious, farming community in the South. He quickly notices 17-year-old Roy (Max Roeg), his next-door neighbour, but being painfully-shy, it takes Nathan a while to strike up conversation with Roy. An intense bond soon develops between the two, building by way of eye contact and body language, as appropriate to the oppressive small-town, backwater, environment in which they live. Their almost-wordless desire for one another is eventually consummated. Jealousy intervenes: Roy is surprised and upset to discover his younger friend's apparently-skilled 'technique', and he cold-shoulders Nathan - until his curiosity is aroused upon discovering that the latter is spending his nights sleeping in a nearby wood...
Various sub-plots abound, leading to an unexpected, arresting denouement; to reveal any more would be unfair to the newcomer to this story. While shot on a low-budget, the actors comfortably grow into their roles, providing authentic performances with difficult material. Particular note in this regard to the outstandingly-moving portrayals of Nathan's conflicted mother (Diana Scarwid), and his tortured, multi-faceted father (Tom Ryan). The cinematography is confident and accomplished, supported by an extremely strong musical score.
A beautifully-depicted, highly-sensual and intense tale of isolation, jealousy, and the often-brutal consequences caused by social repression of desire. Highly talented director, James Bolton ("Eban & Charley", "The Graffiti Artist") has once again selected important material which is usually neglected by the mainstream; it will be most intriguing to see his next project. Recommended.