Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

DailyView: Day 199, Movie 281

One of the films that will be leaving HBO Max at the end of November came up for the DailyView today. It was a movie that I had not heard of before featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins in an adaption of a Stephen King work.

The film also stars the late Anton Yelchin in an early role. While some of the other child actors in Hearts in Atlantis were not very strong, Yelchin showed the promise as an aspiring actor, as he handled a couple of powerful scenes and stood well opposite an Oscar winner in Hopkins.

When an aging man (David Morse) returned to his hometown for the funeral of a childhood friend, the began to reminisce about the time he met a mysterious man named Ted Brautigan (Sir Anthony Hopkins), who moved into an open room just after the death of Bobby’s (Anton Yelchin) father. Bobby and Ted bonded as Ted told Bobby a strange and somewhat horrifying story about men who were after him. Bobby would discover that Ted was more perceptive than he thought.

This film had a low Rotten Tomatoes score, but I did not think it was that bad. In fact, it was decent. Yes, there was problems with it. In particular, there was a lot of forced sentimentality which did not feel right. Some of it worked, but a lot went over the top. Another issue was that the dialogue was not good, especially the dialogue written for the kid actors. It did not feel accurate.

Bobby’s mother, Liz (Hope Davis) was a terrible character and was shown to be selfish. Sure, we see a terrible event that happened to her during the film, but it was not a reason to be that terrible prior to it. I thought she got off pretty easy at the end from Bobby.

Anton Yelchin did a great job and should have grown up to win Oscars. It is a sad situation involving the car accident that took his life earlier in the 2010s.

Anthony Hopkins was his typical outstanding self, taking the strange story and characters to a level that one would expect from a top line actor as Hopkins.

Stephen King must have an issue with bullies because it seems as if all of the kid bullies in his stories are just the worst people ever, and this is not exception. They are never quite the most developed of characters in his work.

In the end, Hearts in Atlantis was a decent enough watch and, despite its flaws, I thought its strengths surpassed the problems.

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