Hearts in Atlantis

Directed by Scott Hicks
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Mika Boorem, David Morse.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and thematic elements.

Review by Eugene Kopman <eugene@filmhead.com>
October 4, 2001

Hearts in Atlantis is the tearjerker of the year, so far. When I started watching, I thought, Oh no, not another coming of age tale, but this one is actually very good.

Bobby Garfield (David Morse) receives a letter that his childhood friend, John "Sully" Sullivan, has died. When he arrives at the funeral, he is informed that his first girlfriend, Carol Gerber, also died a few years ago. Bobby, Carol and Sully were a clique and hung out together back in the day. Bobby visits his childhood home, which is now in ruins, and goes back to the time when he was 11 years old, some time in the 1950s, when his only concern was getting a bike for his birthday.

Unfortunately for little Bobby (Anton Yelchin), instead of a bike, his mother, Elizabeth (Hope Davis), gives him an adult library card because, as she explains, Bobby's father left them with a lot of bills to pay and she is saving money. However, not getting his bike doesn't stop Bobby from going out with Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully (Will Rothhaar).

That same day, a new tenant moves in to the upstairs room. His name is Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) and he befriends Bobby, but gets the evil eye from Elizabeth. Ted offers Bobby a job for $1 a week. He needs the paper to be read to him, but there's a catch: besides just reading, Bobby needs to look out for government agents who are looking for Ted because he has psychic powers.

Hearts in Atlantis, like The Green Mile, is based on a book by Stephen King. The whole cast shines with another great performance by Hopkins and standout performances by newcomers Yelchin and Boorem. Davis does a fantastic job playing a self-centered slut. But one of the stars went to the director, Scott Hicks, for some beautiful point-of-view shots. Some of those shots looked digital when I don't think they were, but the camera location when little Bobby was climbing a hill, or carrying Carol, or running after Ted, just amazed me. This is one of the better films I saw this year; even though I've been giving a lot of films three stars, this one was close to four.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
Hearts in Atlantis (2001) -- VHS
Hearts in Atlantis (2001) -- DVD
Hearts in Atlantis, a novel by Stephen King -- Hardcover
Hearts in Atlantis, a novel by Stephen King -- Paperback
Hearts in Atlantis, a novel by Stephen King -- Audio Cassette (read by William Hurt)
Hearts in Atlantis: Original Motion Picture Score -- Compact Disc

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