Thursday, January 24 2013, 12:29 PM MST
Sundance Review: The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: George Tillman, Jr.
Starring: Skylan Brooks, Ethan Dizon and Jennifer Hudson
Recommended to: Those looking for a unique film featuring breakout performances from its young stars.
When his mother is arrested 14-year-old Mister (Skylan Brooks) is left alone to fend for himself and Pete (Ethan Dizon), a neglected 9-year-old boy. Together the pair survives through the scorching summer heat of New York City as the dangers of the adult world come crashing down around them. Michael Starrburys script is a rich character piece for child actors Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon. The duo turn in wonderful performances as an odd couple forced to survive through an unthinkable situation. Mister is a dreamer unfazed by the harsh realities of his life. Hes doomed to fail, but refuses to embrace defeat (even if it is inevitable). Pete is precious, fragile and full of secrets that ultimately reveal him to be far more complex than he initially appears. Starburys script does a little to far out of its way to wrap up all the loose ends. A little ambiguity at the end of the film might have been more effective. Fortunately these small missteps cant stand in the way of the films overwhelming positives. Its easily the best and most accessible film director George Tillman Jr. (Faster, Soul Food) has made to date.
-Ryan Michael Painter
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)