10,000 Saints follows three screwed up young people and their equally screwed up parents in the age of CBGB’s, yuppies and the tinderbox of gentrification that exploded into the Tompkins Square Park Riots in New York’s East Village in the 1980s. This film is essentially the story of how small life connections become the ties that bind a group of estranged friends and family. It’s quite extraordinary and a brilliant translation of Eleanor Henderson‘s New York Times best-selling novel. After the loss of his best friend Teddy, Jude is sent to live his absentee father, Les. Reconnecting with Les’ girlfriend’s daughter, Eliza and straight edge punk singer and brother of Teddy, Johnny, the three embark on a path that was thrust upon them. Ethan Hawke, who I am convinced is a Timelord at this point, gives a flawless performance. His loose lipped, nonchalance is the perfect foil to quietly angsty and gentle Asa Butterfield as Jude. Les’ storyline of fatherly redemption is pretty poetic. Jude’s search for his soul is much more pensive but just as stunning with Butterfield’s innate ability to live the screenplay’s emotional highs and lows. Hailee Steinfeld‘s natural performance as wild child turned guilt ridden and lost pregnant teen is one that should be noted. Emile Hirsh‘s Johnny is a beautifully zen enigma. With a truly talented cast rounded out by Juilanne Nicholson, Avan Jogia, and Emily Mortimer, 10,000 Saints is one hell of an ensemble film. This coming of age tale is deals with guilt, unrequited love, self realization, parenting and death, all in delicate yet fully meaningful ways. The music is most defintiely its own character, with a soundtrack featuring The Replacements, The Cure, REM, Social Distortion, The Stone Roses, and Johnny’s band Army of One. Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are gifted storytellers and you bet I will be going out and grabbing Henderson’s novel soon. 10,000 Saints will not disappoint your eyes, ears or heart. 10,000 Saints comes to theaters, iTunes and other VOD platforms Friday, August 14th
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