A Home at the End of the World Michael Mayer. (R) In high school, Bobby (Erik Smith) introduces the thrills of rebellion and drugs to a brace-faced nervous Nellie named Jonathan (Harris Allan). Like many young boys, they smoke pot together, listen to records (it's the '70s), hang out in graveyards and, y'know, give each other hand jobs under the covers. Then Bobby's dad dies. His mother had already departed off-camera, and so Bobby, who apparently has no other family, moves in with Jonathan and his parents (Sissy Spacek and Matt Frewer). Eventually the boys grow up to become Dallas Roberts and Colin Farrell and encounter each other again in New York, forming a love triangle with roomie Clare (Robin Wright Penn). The movie's thesis, stated repeatedly by various characters, is that you can never predict where you're going to end up. Screenwriter Michael Cunningham, adapting his own novel, doesn't seem to think anyone's going to end up terribly happy, but at least there's more levity here than in the last big-screen rendition of his work, the boring and lugubrious chick-flick-from-Hell known as The Hours. Opens Friday, August 6, at the Tivoli. (Luke Y. Thompson)
Little Black Book Nick Hurran. (PG-13) Opens Friday, August 6, at multiple locations. Reviewed in this issue.
Lost Boys of Sudan Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk. (unrated) Lost Boys of Sudan, an exceptional documentary about two Sudanese refugees trying to make their way in America, takes a heartbreaking look at exactly what this country can and can't do for young, resourceless men from a victimized culture. Both Peter Nyarol Dut and Santino Majok Chuor are members of the Dinka tribe, targeted for destruction by the Islamic fundamentalist government of Sudan. In the late 1980s, when their villages were obliterated, the boys fled into the bush, joining 20,000 others on a grueling march to safety in Kenya. There they lived until 2001, when the United States gave 4,000 of these so-called Lost Boys priority refugee status, bringing them to cities across America. Co-directed by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk (who also filmed), Lost Boys shows a great deal of compassion for its subjects. With a keen eye for the critical detail and a gracious sense of humor, the film is as emotionally compelling as it is intellectually rigorous, asking key questions about international aid, immigration, assimilation, race and cultural identity. Opens Friday, August 6, at the Tivoli. (Melissa Levine)
Maria Full of Grace Joshua Marston. (R) Opens Friday, August 6, at the Plaza Frontenac. Reviewed in this issue.