Cinema Review: Ten Thousand Saints | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, November 27th, 2020  

Ten Thousand Saints

Studio: Screen Media
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

Aug 11, 2015 Web Exclusive
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New York City’s East Village of the 1980s is plagued by social turmoil: squatters facing off against police and real estate developers; an AIDS epidemic threatening countless denizens; rampant homelessness. After the death of his best friend, Teddy, 18-year-old Jude (Asa Butterfield) moves to the City to live with his pot-dealer dad, Les (Ethan Hawke) and finds himself thrust into the heart of the chaos. He tracks down Teddy’s older brother, Johnny (Emile Hirsch), a straight-edge punk musician who takes him under his wing, but tensions strain when they compete for the same woman’s affections.

Co-written and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (the duo behind such collaborations as American Splendor and Girl Most Likely), and based on Eleanor Henderson’s novel, Ten Thousand Saints reveals the untidiness and complexity of maturing in modern society. Families don’t always stay together, nor are they often neatly packaged. More so, they’re imperfect, as are the people who comprise them. The film doesn’t necessarily say anything new about the messiness of contemporary adolescence, but it is a unanimously well-acted film with enough heart and fully realized characters to compel an audience to relate to Jude, Les, and the entire ensemble.

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Author rating: 6/10

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