Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rails & Ties (2007)

I found this one doing a search for Kevin Bacon movies on Netflix. When it opens, you meet a brooding and gloomy Tom Stark (Kevin Bacon) showing up to work at a train man. The foreshadowing is thick and sticky in the first scene. Tom has just learned that wife Megan Stark (Marcia Gay Harden) has cancer and Tom's boss urges him to take time off but Tom insists on his run (uh-oh). What happens next???

(Spoiler Alert: Read at Your Own Risk!)

Davey Danner (Miles Heizer) is an 11 year old who's been playing mommy to his own single mother (Bonnie Root) who is struggling with depression and drinking. Something is wrong with her but you don't get time to figure it out because she's popping some pills and pushing them on Davey who has pretends to swallow but then spits them out. Under the guise of "going to watch the train," Davey and his mom drive to the train and while Davey, who possesses a great love of trains, is yammering away about the train that goes from Simi Valley to Seattle (side note: I wished this really existed) and you hear the oncoming train alarms. Davey's mother who is quickly going from drowsy to comatose from the pills drives the car onto the tracks, positioning it directly in the path of the oncoming train. Davey tries to extricate her from the car until at the very last minute, unsuccessful, he jumps out of the way and his mother is killed.

The film continues as Tom is left in the aftermath trying to keep his job and his guilt at bay, Davey seeks out Tom and develops a relationship with both Tom and Megan, while dealing with his own struggles. You learn about Tom and Megan's together-but-separate relationship and the difficulties that caused this distance. This Miles Heizer is an unbelievable actor. This little powerkid emotes and is so darn likeable--tears were shed, many and during several scenes. Kevin Bacon starts off as a shell of a man, not so likeable, and metamorphasizes into a different man--showing off his acting chops. Marcia Gay Harden is subdued as the bridge between the two male leads.

Themes: suicide, loss of parent, fatherless boys, wife-husband relationships, trains

Director: Alison Eastwood (daughter of Clint Eastwood in her directorial debut)

Country: US

Genre: Drama

Minutes:  98 minutes

Scale: 4.5

1 comment:

Michell said...

Watched this the other day... Great movie.