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We the Animals - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
We the Animals
SIFF's capsule summary: "Justin Torres' acclaimed autobiographical novel comes to life with Shiela Vand (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) and Raúl Castillo (HBO's Looking) as the volatile parents of three wild boys, the youngest, most sensitive of whom is on the cusp of exploring his homosexuality." (US, 2018, 90 minutes)
SIFF link: We the Animals

Early adolescent boy Jonah (Evan Rosado) and his two older brothers live with their mother (Shiela Vand) and sometimes-absent father (Raul Castillo), and play the way kids could back when "free range" childhood was typical. While out doing mischief, Jonah meets and becomes friends with a boy with an extensive bootleg videotape collection. He plays less with his brothers but remains close to his mother.

5 Fair Although based on an acclaimed, partially autobiographical novel by Justin Torres, the script by Daniel Kitrosser and director Jeremiah Zagar feels episodic, and shows less of the growth I'd expect from a coming-of-age story. The directing is good, often showing a dreamy mood that reflects the point of view of the adolescent protagonist. The acting is generally good, though the boy with the videotape collection was weaker.

In spite of the solid acting and directing, the script left me feeling like there was a lot of novel that didn't make it onto the screen; I rate the film fair overall.

Languages: English.

Rating: I don't think this film has a US rating (yet), but I'd guess it would rate an "R", because boys kissing boys is almost always too much for the MPAA.

Screening: noon, Pacific Place (room 4).
Audience: a typical SIFF press screening crowd, around 100, about 285 seats (estimated capacity).

Snacks: none.

Ads and announcements: no ads at press screenings; SIFF volunteer "J" provided announcements.

Notes to myself:

SIFF statistics: 15 films (all features), 1 unofficial party.

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