A good movie to take your parents to
By BILLY NORRIS
© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 1, 2001
Movie: Hearts in Atlantis
Rating: PG-13, for some mature themes
Summary: A grown up Bobby Garfield (David Morse) revisits his quiet hometown in New England after one of his childhood best friends dies. He visits his old home and flashes back to 1960, when he was 11 and at the height of a strangely memorable part of his youth. Young Bobby (Anton Yelchin) lived with his widowed mom (Hope Davis). She wasn't actually mean, but she was very selfish. She was quick to remind Bobby that his dad didn't leave them in good shape financially. She took care of her own needs but didn't do much for Bobby. One day a mysterious old man named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moved in upstairs and paid Bobby to read the newspaper to him every day, because his vision was failing him. Mrs. Garfield didn't trust him, but Bobby got very close to him and noticed some extraordinarily odd things about him. Mr. Brautigan spoke of the "low men" who were getting closer, and he seemed to fall into deep trances quite frequently. Mr. Brautigan also had a lot of insight into Bobby's relationship with his best friend/girlfriend, Carol Gerber (Mika Boorem). He was able to "see" things about their future. Mr. Brautigan wasn't in Bobby's life for long, but he changed it forever.
My view: This film, an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, was kind of eerie in that Stephen King sort of way. I couldn't fully determine what Mr. Brautigan's motives were until the film was almost over. This movie wasn't totally predictable like so many are these days, and I liked that.
Favorite part: Anthony Hopkins was great -- his acting was the best thing about this movie, I thought. His character was very odd, and he was really good at playing that kind of role.
Least favorite part: I generally like movies that are more action-packed than this one was. A lot of this movie was dialogue between the two main characters, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but it bored me.
Recommendations: Honestly, I think this movie will be enjoyed more by the parents who grew up in the early '60s than by their kids who are my age, but it was a pretty good movie.
- Billy Norris, 13, is in the eighth grade at Seminole Middle School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.
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