The second season of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's movie making reality series goes a different route when it's two professionals realizing their vision on screen instead of just one: writer and director.
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Mary Stuart Masterson
Pete, an eight-year-old Catholic boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-1970s, attends Catholic school, where as classes let out for the summer, he's admonished by a nun to follow the path of the Lord, and not that of the Devil. Perhaps taking this message a bit too seriously, Pete decides it's his goal for the summer to help someone get into heaven; having been told that Catholicism is the only sure path to the kingdom of the Lord, Pete decides to convert a Jew to Catholicism in order to improve their standing in the afterlife. Hoping to find a likely candidate, Pete begins visiting a nearby synagogue, where he gets to know Rabbi Jacobson, who responds to Pete's barrage of questions with good humor. Pete also makes friends with the Rabbi's son, Danny, who is about the same age; when he learns that Danny is seriously ill, he decides Danny would be an excellent choice for conversion. When the priest at Pete's church informs Pete that all will be tested before they pass the...Written by
'Penn, Sean' was offered the role Joe O'Malley, but turned it down and did I Am Sam (2001) in which he was nominated for an Oscar. See more »
The film is set in 1976, but during one of the beach scenes, we see several buildings on the Chicago skyline that were not built until several years later (e.g., the new Prudential Building "Pru-2"). See more »
This movie is beautifully written and simply acted, with wonderful performances from the child actors bringing it to life. It deals with subtle and complex issues of faith and love, parenting, friendship and flat-out chutzpah. The character of the Rabbi, played by Kevin Pollack, is a joy.
Stolen summer explores what faith means in action and who's got it right. Done from a child's questioning point of view it gets in to and away with some very tough and unresolvable issues. The kids treat the notion of getting in to heaven, whose God is right, what happens when you die- all as things you can actually ask about, and think about. The result is heartfelt and up to the end, wrenching in its honesty.
The final scene of the movie has absolutely no connection to the rest of story. Or rather, it seeks to tie up every single thread and gives you all those answers, revealing in the final two minutes the nature of prayer and the meaning of faith. Predictably it comes out as shallow and baffling. Where did the movie go? The actors are wrenched from any connection to any part of the story leading up to that moment and left doing a Hallmark card. The scene reeks of a desperate move to appeal to some research-specified demographic, the implausible act of an executive justifying his salary by telling the writer what the story needs.
Up until the Advent of Executives, this is a lovely movie, and a great story.
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