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||IMDB Rating: 6.5/10 from 1,678 votes
||Release: 29 May 1998 (USA) /
||Director: Antonio Tibaldi,
||Stars: Adam Burke, Brent Jennings, Dennis Letts, Devon Michael, Gail Cronauer, Jenny Lewis, Jerry Cotton, John Doman, John Savage, Kaitlin Hopkins, Michael Boston, Nastassja Kinski, Ryan Phillippe, Shirley Knight, Tyrin Turner
||Synopsis: Living in the rural Texas panhandle is a dysfunctional family: an abusive dad, a Vietnam vet with a war wound that's left him impotent; a compliant wife and a son of about 20, who have an incestuous relationship at the insistence of the dad; and, two small sons who look a lot like their brother. The dad harbors a secret, and he goes to murderous lengths to keep it hidden. The young man, Jimmy, who sleeps out in the shed, has suspicions, but little comes out until a Yankee woman of middle age comes to town looking for a dead private eye. And why does dad keep calling Jimmy, "little boy blue"? Written by <email@example.com>
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Little Boy Blue is a difficult-to-review dichotomy of a movie. It
continually pairs brilliant film-making with portions that one would expect
from a straight-to-video release.
The movie starts off quickly establishing its heavy sexual content and
unusual family relationships. The alcoholic, Vietnam veteran father played
by John Savage is a fierce, detestable character meant to be feared by all
but his inexplicably devoted wife played by Kinski (what does she see in
him?). Savage's character is effective but could have given us
more understanding of why he became who he is.
Savage spares no family member his brutality and cruelty. Oldest son Jimmy
(Ryan Phillippe) receives even more denigration than his two younger
brothers. The tension as Savage and Phillippe both realize that Jimmy's now
reaching the age where he may be able to stand up to Savage and therefore
threaten his dominance over the family is brilliantly played.
Phillippe's performance is light-years past any of his others. He steals
the movie with his torn-character-- wanting to escape his hellish father,
but fearing what will happen to his mother and even more so his two young
brothers if he leaves. This debate is layered even more into his
relationship with his girlfriend and the possibility of leaving for college
with his great baseball talent.
Jimmy's desperate need for love and yet difficulty of being able to love
after his nightmarish upbringing makes for captivating viewing. In one
sense, though, he has already found it in the wonderfully-shown love he has
for his two brothers. It is one of the most tender brother relationships
one will find on the screen and clearly the heart of the entire
The mystery and plot-turns are much more hit-and-miss than the
relationships. Some are well-conceived and timely unveiled, but others make
one scratch his head and wonder what was the point of that? One wonders if
too much was left on the cutting room floor or if the movie was dumped into
video stores with little thought.
Such instances include the dramatic recognition by the mail-carrier of the
police patrolman that leads to ... nothing. In fact, the mail-carrier's
role seems to be too large for such little payoff. And what is the point of
the forced-statements at gunpoint by Mrs. Knight?
Overall, the role of the police in the movie is the least-developed.
Various implications are made in vague, unfulfilled ways. Are the police
attempting a cover-up or are they simply negligent in their investigation?
And why all the time spent on Nate Carr's attempt to get in on more action
at the police department?
Little Boy Blue has more flaws than one would like, but it so perfectly
handles the complicated relationships at the center of the story that you
can't help but love this movie. It will at once move you to tears of
sorrow, fits of empathetic anger, and hopes of peaceful love.
A warning, though; this movie is full of sex and is worse in that regard
than most R-movies. However, this is central to the plot and not
Here is the irony: many go to see Phillippe's body in cheaper, low-brow
movies. They will likely miss this one-- which surely shows more of
Phillippe than any of his others-- but which for the first time shows the
possibility of a coming actor. And, in at least my opinion, finally puts
Phillippe in a quality movie-- one you won't soon forget.
Tags for Little Boy Blue Full Movie
, Brent Jennings
, Dennis Letts
, Devon Michael
, Gail Cronauer
, Jenny Lewis
, Jerry Cotton
, John Doman
, John Savage
, Kaitlin Hopkins
, Michael Boston
, Nastassja Kinski
, Ryan Phillippe
, Shirley Knight
, Tyrin Turner
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