I have a confession to make. I have a crush on Anton Yelchin. I successfully watched all of the movies he was in that were “Watch Instantly” and then some. It started because I watched Charlie Bartlett for the first time and realized that this guy was extremely talented. I had already watched New York, I Love You, and was looking for something more than just that. I then went on to watch Fierce People, Middle of Nowhere, Hearts in Atlantis, House of D and Alpha Dog over the span of 2 weeks. For some reason, over vacations, I always become addicted to a TV show or a movie. This time, it was an actor. Yelchin chooses really great roles. He is always somewhat “cooky,” but is never the same character twice.
Charlie Bartlett is a clever movie about what a kid would do to 1) be popular and 2) help his peers. Yelchin plays the title role: a boy whose father is absent and whose mother (Hope Davis) is dealing with the absence by indulging herself in what her mansion has to offer. After Charlie is, once again, expelled from a school, he transfers to what seems to be his last hope of an education. There, he falls for Susan Gardner (Kat Dennings) whose father (Robert Downey, Jr.) is the principle of their school while subsequently starts dealing drugs to the students. He expresses their symptoms to numerous therapists in order to return with the medication that their parents do not feel is necessary. This movie expresses the main theme of silenced children. When children are silenced by their parents and schools, they may go to further measures to get what they need.
New York, I Love You is a movie about several skits. Yelchin’s is about a boy whose social life seems to be crumbling before him. Instead of going to prom dateless, he agrees to bring his pharmacist’s daughter. Little does he know, the girl is in a wheelchair. This short skit follows the two characters as they face the reactions of others about her disability. The ending is quite pleasing.
Fierce People stars Diane Lane as a cocaine addicted prostitute mother of Anton Yelchin who takes her son away to one of her “friend’s” (client’s) houses for the summer. There, he is faced with love (Kristen Stewart), friendship (Chris Evans), and the past of his absent father, an anthropologist in South America with a tribe of people. This movie cleverly relates the life of the tribe with what is going on in Yelchin’s character, Finn’s, life. Although at some points the movie seemed a bit slow, it makes up for that fact a few moments later.
Middle of Nowhere was one of my favorites of Anton Yelchin’s movies. Grace is a girl who needs to pay off the bad credit from loans her mom took out in her name to get a scholarship for college. This movie follows Grace and Dorian (Yelchin) who resort to selling pot in order to make some fast cash while working at the local water park. The sexual tension between the two characters is questionable throughout the film. But, although love is a major plotline, the part that I loved most was the relationships in Grace’s family. Watch this one.
Hearts in Atlantis was a bit of a weird movie and I’m not sure that I understood the whole plot. Again starring Hope Davis as Yelchin’s mother, this movie is about a frivolous mother who pities herself, eventhough she is spending more money on her dresses than she is for her son. A neighbor moves in upstairs (Anthony Hopkins) who has some sort of a power or a secret. This movie follows the life of the boy and how he shapes a relationship with Anthony Hopkins, the first healthy relationship he seems to have. Very touching, but a tad confusing.
House of D was another good one. It’s about a Tommy, a boy at a private boy’s school in Manhattan, who is friends with a mentally disabled janitor at his school, Pappass (Robin Williams). This movie follows the relationship of Tommy and Pappass, Tommy and his widowed mother (Tea Leoni), Tommy and “Lady,” (Erykah Badu) the prostitute in a House of Detention whose conversations he finds comforting, and Tommy and a girl named Melissa (Zelda Williams). This movie is upsetting but very touching. David Duchovny did a great job writing and starring as older Tommy. The ending leaves you optimistic, but definitely moved.
Alpha Dog was a disturbing movie. It was not one of my favorites. It was based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer (Emile Hirsch) in LA who kidnaps the little brother (Yelchin) of a client and friend as ransom. Justin Timberlake also costars as the man who builds the strongest relationship with the captive boy. Although he is technically kidnapped, he seems to not mind his escape from his strict but loving mother (Sharon Stone). This movie left my stomach in knots. It’s upsetting that it was a true story, but the performances were captivating.
I hope that I could lead you in the right direction of what movies to save on your Netflix queue. Please comment below of other reviews of these movies or comments about Anton Yelchin movies in general. Thanks!