Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for language and disturbing adult situations
Run Time: 1 hour, 22 minutes
the semi-autobiographical novel by
Robin Williams (another native son) delights as tortured evening radio personality Gabriel Noone, who develops an intense phone relationship with a disturbed teen (Rory Culkin as Pete Logand) while enduring his own romantic fall-out.
Pete is a dying AIDS patient who has written a vivid manuscript about an existence suffered at the hands of abusive parents. Foster mother Donna (Toni Collette) generously provides mandatory physical and emotional support.
Noone revels in the friendship, enjoying the quick wit and self-effacing calm of this young and battered soul. When he reluctantly shares details and voice mail messages with ex-lover Jess (Bobby Cannavale), Jess bluntly asserts that the phone voices of Pete and Donna are one and the same.
A seed of
doubt is planted; what does Noone really know about Pete and Donna? Suspicion
and cynicism rear their ugly heads, forcing him to take action. Thus begins a harrowing
odyssey of discovery as Noone sets out for rural
Fact blurs into fiction with dark consequence. Patrick Stettner’s spare direction confirms that less is more; at a mere eighty-two minutes much is left to the imagination. Williams strikes the perfect balance between dread and resolve and Collette delivers her career’s most sinister performance.
Seamy, sinuous and satisfying.