|Eban and Charley|
dir-scr James Bolton|
with Brent Fellows, Giovanni Andrade, Ellie Nicholson, Drew Zeller, Pam Munter, Ron Upton, Nolan V Chard, Deanna Alexich, Jennifer Utley
release UK Apr.01 llgff
Tackling a very touchy subject with sensitivity and tact, Bolton's low-budget film gives us plenty to think about.|
Eban (Fellows) returns to his Pacific Northwest hometown under some sort of cloud; the 29-year-old school teacher is suddenly living with his parents (Munter and Upton) again, and no one's talking about what happened. Soon Eban befriends the 15-year-old Charley (Andrade), and people are starting to get worried. Is he having an inappropriate (not to mention illegal) relationship with this boy?
Bolton wisely never gets into the specifics of their relationship, leaving sexual contact off screen, but we do know that Eban and Charley have fallen deeply in love with each other, and when confronted with the problems in the situation their reactions are hardly surprising. Neither are the reactions of their parents!
Filmed on digital video with a slow, meandering style, the film avoids cliches at every turn, and it never preaches as it simply tells its story and presents all the arguments. It's a very difficult story to tell with such understanding, so it's high praise to Bolton and his cast for pulling it off so well, without even hinting at easy solutions or obvious moralising. It's beautifully understated in every way, and deserves to be seen if only to raise the issue for discussion ... even though most people probably believe there's no discussion needed.
Sleepnbag, Montreal: "Good story but very very poor acting. Good thing is that the movie is not very long so you don't get bored. nice ending!" (9.Jan.05)
Gayfilmromantic, Rochester, NY: "This film haunts me despite its controversial subject. Uneasy as I watched the plot unfold, I couldn't help wanting the couple to escape persecution and prosecution as the film drew to an end. The presentation seemed realistic due to its relaxed approach. I hope we see more of Andrade now that he is mature. Wish Bolton would do a sequel. I have several plots in mind." (11.Nov.07)