JoyFilms

Long Form

In 1963, thirteen-year-old Joe Fergal Kennedy is a daydreaming Londoner. Fascinated by JFK, the new American president with whom he shares his initials, Joe imagines that he too may some day change the world. But his reveries are interrupted by the arrival of his older brother, Doug, and his striking girlfriend, Jackie, to whom Joe is attracted. Although Joe is thrilled to see Doug at first, he soon realizes having his brother back home is a mixed blessing. Dough has a dark anger building inside, causing his relationships to deteriorate. When Joe and Jackie learn of JFK's assassination, they are forced into a final chapter together where Joe receives his first lesson in love. Norowzian's masterful direction creates an unsentimental yet moving coming-of-age story from Chris Fallon's deft screenplay.

Leo (Davis Sweatt), a troubled young boy who's been alienated by his mother, begins writing to Stephen (Joseph Fiennes), a prisoner serving a 15-year sentence. An incredible bond is formed between man and boy as the ex-convict is forced to face his past mistakes and make the choices that will save his new companion and himself. Alternating between Leo's childhood thirty years ago and Stephen's life today, the film's tension builds until the secret of their mystical connection breaks out. Lushly photographed and rich with nuanced performances from an A list cast, including Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), Dennis Hopper (Apocalypse Now), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down) and directed by Mehdi Norowzian.