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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Unstrung Heroes
Directed by Diane Keaton
Buena Vista Home Entertainment 09/95 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG - emotional subject matter

In Unstrung Heroes 12-year-old Steven Lidz (Nathan Watt) spends part of the summer of 1962 with his two oddball uncles while his father Sid (John Turturro), an inventor, looks after his mother Selma (Andie MacDowell) who is dying of ovarian cancer.

Uncle Arthur (Maury Chaykin) is a sweet man who retrieves lost objects and then passes them on as gifts to those he loves. Uncle Danny (Michael Richards) is a paranoid who unhinges everyone he meets with ravings about anti-Semitic conspiracies.

These two misfits encourage Steven to find his footing during this difficult time by exploring his Jewish roots and by recognizing his individuality. They lift the boy's self-esteem. Director Diane Keaton mines all the bittersweet moments in this emotionally resonant drama written by Richard LaGravanese (The Bridges of Madison County).

Unstrung Heroes is a deftly done and beautifully acted coming-of-age movie.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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