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Movie Review: Mysterious Skin

Alternate Title: Suffer the Little Children

Story: If you have the guts to take on the consequences of the subject of child molestation you cannot miss this unforgettably poignant movie. Director and writer Gregg Araki (from the novel by Scott Helm) creates a moving, no holds barred picture of what happens to two eight year old kids after they were molested one summer by their little league baseball coach.

One teen turns to a life as a street hustler and the other repressed his memory and thinks he was abducted by aliens. How they cope, lead their young lives and eventually try to come to terms with what happened to them is riveting, at times graphic and mighty powerful stuff.

I recommend this film to all who are interested in a tough subject. I can't get it out of my head.

Acting: Joseph Gordon Levitt (the kid from TV's Third Rock From the Sun) gives a knock your socks off performance as the street hustling kid. His presence on screen was intense. Brady Corbett as the teen with repressed memory is right on the money in his nerdy, withdrawn performance.

Predilection: None.

Food: Kellogg's Variety Pack has a big role.

Blatant Product Placement: The aforementioned Kellogg's cereal.

Opening Titles: An interesting memory montage of the little boys.

Visual Art: Right on target with house decor for Anywhere, USA.

Theater Audience: A packed house with 99% men. The advantage of an all male audience is that the ladies room is empty after the film and the men's room has a line.

Sappy Factor: Not a drop in sight.

Squirm Scale: This is a very squirmy topic and is not for the faint of heart.

Drift Factor: Not for a second.

Predictability Level: I hoped for the best but was not sure how this film would end.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Probably not a chance in hell.

Soap Box: Child molestation is a crime that carries lifelong consequences. Children need all of the protection this society can provide.

Nit Picking: Parts of the film were technically very amateurish but the story and acting were so very strong that it can be easily overlooked.

Big Screen or Rental: Either would be fine. I doubt if this film will be playing anywhere but art houses around the nation.

Length: Under two hours.