New York Times - 11/04/1994
"...[Costner] is effortlessly appealing, and [Wood] holds up his end of the story with equal assurance....Hominy-and-homilies rustic style..."
In the summer of 1970, Stephen (Kevin Costner) returns to his family in Mississippi after a stint in the Vietnam War, his emotional and psychological scars leave him depressed and alienated, while struggling to overcome the nightmare of post traumatic stress disorder. His wife Lois (Mare Winningham) becomes the one forced to struggle to keep food on the table, working grueling double shifts as a waitress and forced to rely on welfare. And his children, Stu (Elijah Wood) and Lidia (Lexi Randall) have it no easier: they're caught in a battle with a group of neighborhood bullies over a tree house that they built out of junk to be a safe haven for their friends, while trying to escape the pressures of school and life in a small Southern town. Ironically, these small-town hostilities are what finally help Stephen come to terms with the larger war he fought in Vietnam. And as he tries to communicate his personal philosophy about violence to his son Stu, the two create a bond stronger than any they have ever had before. By summer's end, both Stu and Lidia gain a new respect for their father's beliefs of peace and understanding as they discover the startling insights into themselves and the world around them.
Coming Of Age |
Family (General) |
Family Interaction |
Theatrical Release |
Additional credits: Annette Sutera-Zenz, Peter E. Hirsch, Vince Palmo (assistant directors); Ken Ferris (camera operator); Julie S. Sanford (set design); John P. Quaglia (key hairstylist).
Additional Songs: "Someday We'll Be Together" by Harvey Fuqua, John Bristol and Jackie Beavers, performed by The Supremes "Soul of Sadness" performed by Mother Earth "Think" by Aretha Franklin, Ted White, performed by Aretha Franklin "Follow" by Jerry Merrick, performed by Richie Havens
Rated BBFC 12 by the British Board of Film Classification.