August 25, 2015

10,000 Saints (2015)

10,000 Saints (2015) - Movie Review
Directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Country: USA

Movie Review: “10,000 Saints” is the fifth theatrical feature from the married filmmakers, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, whose major success was in 2003, with their unforgettable debut “American Splendor”. Since then, the pair has never overcome the challenges of presenting something fresh and interesting, failing to make the grade with unimpressive comedies such as “The Nanny Diaries” and “The Extra Man”. For their brand new coming-of-age dramedy, they bring together the actors Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, and Hailee Steinfeld, who despite talented, nothing could do to bypass banality. Still, it happens to exhibit a strong start when introducing the young Jude witnessing the separation of their parents in 1980 Vermont. The motive was proudly explained by his imperturbable, large-minded father, Les (Hawke), who also took the opportunity to brusquely disclose that Jude was adopted when he was a child. Seven years later, the teenager Jude (Butterfield) hangs out with his best friend, Teddy, when they are asked to pick up Eliza (Hailee), Les’ girlfriend’s daughter, who arrives from Manhattan. A friendship solidifies among the three youngsters, but their nocturnal adventures mark a crucial turning point in their lives. While Teddy and Eliza were consuming cocaine and having sex in the bathroom of a bar, Jude was beaten up for stealing weed from a parked car. Later on, Eliza retreats home since she returns to NY the next day, leaving the two friends partying a little more. A tragedy occurs when they pass out in the middle of the snowy streets, a consequence of the drugs, and Teddy ends up freezing to death. Jude agrees to move to NY’s East Village with his cool-dude dad. Once there, he joins Teddy’s brother in his garage punk band and reconnects with his secret love, Eliza, who is pregnant from Teddy. This superfluously polished teen/family drama exhibits an edgeless benevolence at the heart while its emotional complexity is turned into an incautiously simplistic muddle.

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