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Светлячок (2004) Online

Светлячок (2004) Online
Original Title :
Lightning Bug
Genre :
Movie / Drama
Year :
2004
Directror :
Robert Hall
Cast :
Bret Harrison,Laura Prepon,Kevin Gage
Writer :
Robert Hall
Type :
Movie
Time :
1h 37min
Rating :
6.6/10

A drama/thriller, set in the South, about a young boy who longs to escape the misery of his childhood and the misunderstanding of his hometown. A gifted, self-taught, special effects ... See full summary

Светлячок (2004) Online

A drama/thriller, set in the South, about a young boy who longs to escape the misery of his childhood and the misunderstanding of his hometown. A gifted, self-taught, special effects make-up artist, Green dreams of going to Hollywood to make his own monsters. But the real demons of Green's life threaten to hold him back: a drunken stepfather who terrorizes his mother, a group of religious fanatics who want to destroy his work, and the love of a girl who can't let go of small town life.
Cast overview:
Bret Harrison Bret Harrison - Green Graves
Laura Prepon Laura Prepon - Angevin Duvet
Kevin Gage Kevin Gage - Earl Knight
Ashley Laurence Ashley Laurence - Jenny Graves
Shannon Eubanks Shannon Eubanks - Ms. Duvet
Lucas Till Lucas Till - Jay Graves
Hal Sparks Hal Sparks - Deputy Dale
Josh Todd Josh Todd - Rusty Knight
Bob Penny Bob Penny - Mr. Tightwiler
George Faughnan George Faughnan - Billy Martin
Jonathan Spencer Jonathan Spencer - Tony Bennett
Austin Westfall Austin Westfall - Young Green
Kate Clemons Kate Clemons - Cashier
Jamie Avera Jamie Avera - Deputy Hollis
Donald Gibb Donald Gibb - Uncle Marvin (as Don Gibb)

At one point in the film, Ashley Laurence picks up a copy of Fangoria magazine with a picture of Pinhead from Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) on the cover. Ashley Laurence starred in the first two Hellraisers and made an appearance in the third and sixth in the series.

Lucas Till dyed his hair so he could play Jay Graves in the movie.

Robert Hall wrote the script when he was 25 and made the movie when he was 29.

Shot in twenty days.

The role of Uncle Marvin was specifically written for Donald Gibb. However, all the key scenes involving a subplot with Uncle Marvin were ultimately cut from the final finished version of the film.

The high school Green attends is the exact same high school writer/director Robert Hall went to.

Robert Hall wrote the part of Jenny for Ashley Laurence.


User reviews

Cha

Cha

I picked this one up at the video store because Prepon is on the cover, and being a huge That '70's Show fan I like to see other stuff that the cast is in. I was glad I did get it as it was very well acted by everyone in the film. The characters were very believable whether it was a psycho religious mom or a redneck teenager. The story was pretty simple and in this case that's not a bad thing. I also found it interesting that Prepon was exec. producer. I think anybody that has or has had aspirations of getting out of their hometown to make it the entertainment industry will relate to this movie on some level. It also goes to show that you shouldn't overlook a DVD on the shelf of the movie store just because it hasn't had a big theatrical release.
Ydely

Ydely

In the independent drama "Lightning Bug", Bret Harrison stars as Green Graves, a tormented dreamer whose only aspiration is to become a horror film makeup artist. Graves struggle to reach his goal is plagued by his unlucky mother, Jenny (Ashley Laurence) and his new highly abusive stepfather, Earl (Kevin Gage). But Graves does everything in his power to keep dreaming and to help that dream stay alive is his girlfriend and amateur actor, Angevin Duvet (Laura Prepon).

"Lighting Bug" is a relentless drama about one boy's struggle to overcome his abusive surroundings. Everything from his alcoholic stepfather, hopeless mother and white trash surroundings are all key plot points to keep this boy in check. What is strange about this film is that it is being marketed as a horror film when really it's an unforgiving drama.

The best part of this film is the stalwart performance by Bret Harrison, who is a relative newcomer to film. He has so much emotion and personal depth in a lot of scenes. He is a great find. I will look forward to seeing more from this kid.

I have always liked Ashley Laurence and her portrayal of a lost white-trash single mother is captivating and so unforgiving that I often forgot it was her.

Another thing I really liked was the film's original music from singer-songwriter Kevn Kinney. It brought so much extra flavor to the film.

The biggest problem with the film is that it never lets up. It is just so depressing and relentless the audience is never allowed to breathe or laugh. I also really got annoyed with the sub-plot involving Laura Prepon's character's mother. This is such a tedious subplot to create even more conflict for the boy. He gets enough at home.

If you happen to see this film, enjoy the performance of Bret Harrison but prepare for a very bumpy and dark ride. (3 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer ([email protected]) DVD Details: "Lightning Bug" will be released from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment on August 9. The DVD features 2 audio commentaries with director Robert Hall and one featuring Ashley Laurence and Laura Prepon. The DVD also includes a music video from Kevn Kinney and some deleted scenes. The DVD itself is smartly packaged and it is amazing how much extra stuff there is here for such an independent film.
Mightdragon

Mightdragon

Lightning Bug is an amazingly honest movie that touched me in more ways than one and I hope everyone gets a chance to see it. The cast is phenomenal and includes talents such as Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon, Kevin Gage, Ashley Laurence, and Hal Sparks just to name a few. Robert Hall brings to life the very real issues of domestic violence and chasing your dreams no matter what people say. It immediately captures the audience's attention and holds it until the end. The music fits in perfectly with each scene and actually adds an extra element. The film allows you to laugh, cry, and cheer throughout pulling from the audience a whole spectrum of emotions. I definitely recommend this movie.
Zut

Zut

I had the honor of seeing Lightning Bug a couple of months ago. It is a movie that has it all. It is beautifully written and directed by the very talented, Mr. Robert Hall. It is wonderfully acted by such stars as Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon and Hal Sparks, to just name a few.

A must see for any person who has ever had a dream and strived to achieve that dream. Green (Bret Harrison) has a dream. To leave this small rural town and make it big in Hollywood. Designing and building monsters for television/movies. This story is about his hard work, dedication and loyalty to his dream, regardless of the "monsters" in that small town trying to stop him. Will he make it? Will he and his newfound love, Angevin, leave the town and all the monsters behind?

Excellent movie!
Goldendragon

Goldendragon

I bought this imported DVD misguided in its genre. I was expecting a horror movie, based on the cover of the DVD, and the sentence: "The Most Frightening Monsters Are All Around Us" highlighted in the back. However, "Lightning Bug" is a powerful coming-to-age suspenseful drama, with an excellent direction and acting. It is difficult to highlight individual performances, since I would be unfair with this stunning cast. However, the sick and disgusting devoted character of Ms. Duvet, magnificently played by Shannon Eubanks, irritated me with her hypocrite life and behavior. The Region 1 DVD has a beautiful package and many features, but unfortunately it does not have English subtitles or closed caption. The accent of some characters of this small Alabama town where the story takes place is quite difficult to be understood by a foreigner, and I lost some words along the story. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Not Released"
DEAD-SHOT

DEAD-SHOT

the movie starts off with Jenny Graves driving to a new small town with her 2 kids. she talks like a normal smart person but the very next scene she looks and acts like a dumb backwoods hick. i feel the movie moved along to quickly for the first quarter , all the actors except for Green Graves and his brother acted WAY over the top as dumb as a post hicks. i was almost going to turn it off.... but it improved greatly once Angevin duvet (Laura Prepon)character appeared. the story being told is OK but nothing special and in no way shape or form is this a horror movie. why is IMDb listing so many movies as horror lately? it is a drama with a small bit of thriller. 7 out of 10
Zaryagan

Zaryagan

I can't believe that all the reviewers thought this was a fine film, or even an average one. There were so many problems with this, I don't know where to begin. But here goes: The acting was mostly awful, as was the script. Only the two brothers, the girl friend, and the drunken abusive stepfather were credible. The rest were total caricatures, so dumb for the most part that I couldn't imagine the sensitive lead boy would want anything to do with the two dumb friends, or any of the other adults in the story. Like one reviewer stated, the mother started out seeming reasonably intelligent, and then picks out the biggest jerk in history to fall for and marry. I know this can happen, but it seemed so phony the way it was presented. The religious fanatic mother of his love interest was so over the top that it made "Carrie's" mother look normal. Since it was apparently based loosely on a true story, more liberties taken might have helped, as there was the basics for a good story here. But there was almost nothing good happening through the whole film, and except for a clever twist just before the end, even the ending was barely upbeat. There were many lapses in continuity too, with characters in fights looking like nothing happened to them in the next scene. Sloppy direction. Had the ending been that the two brothers and the girl go off to Los Angeles together, at least I would have felt more optimistic. Where was the little bro going to live in Detroit? With who? Everyone he was close to was dead or staying behind. I don't need a Hollywood ending if the film had some point to make other than follow your dream. I really wanted to like this film, and the elements were there for a great story, but for me, this film failed miserably. I gave it 2 stars rather than 1, because of the two brothers and the girlfriend, and a potentially good story.
Winawel

Winawel

Robert Hall makes his debut as a writer/director with one of the most moving and genuinely entertaining films to hit the big screen this year. This is no Hollywood production, and thank goodness for that. Who needs Hollywood hacks when you have REAL talent. From the semi-autobiographical story of a young man overcoming incredible obstacles to realize his dream, to the amazing ensemble cast, this film will capture your mind and your heart. And don't expect an unrecognizable cast. You'll see many familiar faces here, and performances that may both surprise and amaze you. Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon, and Hal Sparks are just a few of this film's finest attributes. Coming soon (hopefully!) to a film festival near you! And if the sell-out crowds at the Philadelphia Film Fest are any indication, distributors should be lining up to get this film into theaters all over the country.
Kison

Kison

A woman (Ashley Laurence) and her 2 kids leave Detroit to go live in a trailer in a small town. One of her sons, Green (Bret Harrison), aspires to become a special FX artist for horror films as well as the boyfriend of local video rental goth girl (Laura Prepon.) Mom has a bit of a drinking problem and a new boyfriend who likes to beat up on everyone, but the local religious zealots may prove to be an even bigger obstacle standing in the way of Green's dreams. "Lightning Bug" is an intense coming-of-age drama that will stay with you long after you eject it from your player. Ashley Laurence is terrific and almost unrecognizable here, channeling Mary Louise Parker southern gal from "Fried Green Tomatoes." Look for a "wink-wink" to horror fans where Laurence's character is grocery shopping and picks up a Fango with Pinhead on the cover for her kid.
Gio

Gio

I was seeing "Lightning Bug" at the suggestion of Ashely Laurence, whom I met at a horror convention. I had a hard time finding this movie for rent in my small town until recently. I guess since it wasn't a big film they didn't order 100 copies of it since it wasn't spider man 8.

I absolutely loved this film. Seeing Ashley do a Drama was amazing! Known for being Kirsty Cotton in Hellraiser, Ashley has deeper talent than just this role of the scream queen of the Hellraiser series. They pay Homage to Hellraiser II in the film. She plays a southern Mom who has a bad habit of drinking a bit much and getting involved with the wrong men. Ashley was so convincing I was heart broken by her characters attempts to better her life. Her southern accent was very convincing. Bret Harrison plays Green Graves, a boy who's talent just doesn't fit his small town. Beyond those monsters he's battling with those at home too. Everything seems stacked against him but, his family loves him even though he is a bit different than they are. Laura Prepon, famous for the TV series that 70's show, plays Angevin Duvet. Her home is no different than her love interests and she needs to deal with her personal demons as well.

The acting was wonderful. It was great to see Laura Prepon outside her TV acing and doing it so well. She looked beautiful as the small outcast/Goth looking chick..grrrrr. Her character reminded me of those times when someone said, do you really think their life is so good you'd like to be them? Angevin and Green were complete opposites but were meant to be.

Spoiler below....

I tried not to include a spoiler but... The film had me in tears at the end. I want to know what happens to Green and his brother, if he ever found out about Angevin's secret she seemed to hold from him. If she continued on with her life or waited for him. Did Green make it? The film seems a bit incomplete just for this reason. It kills me to not know the exact reason she makes the choice she does. I took this film very personal. I love horror movies and I'm a horror movie lover like Green. I also love real down to earth dramas such as this film. I never imagined a drama with someone so similar. Greens life is a lot harder and he's a fighter. I can identify with his desire. Although I'm quite different. It really crept into my emotions like this.

The filming also seemed a bit strange. There were a few parts in the movie they show flashbacks to give you a perspective they decided not to give away. They start with this theme in the beginning and continue throughout the film. I didn't take it the way they meant. It seemed as if the movie stopped and I thought something broke on my set up at home. I really wish this was done differently.

"Lightning Bug" is a film that will be highly underrated and should be on you to do list to go and see right away. I've not seen a better down to earth drama like this in a long time. It also combats the stereotype that all horror film obsessed boys are satanists. Very personal and direct, "Lighting Bug" is about personal demons and the boy who has to defeat them to continue his talent to create them. I'd give it an 8 out of 10. This move is a grade A+ quality film.
Terr

Terr

Fantastic performances by all. Prepon moves boldly away from her most famous role (Donna; That 70's Show)with ease. It is sad to know that many families go through this stuff everywhere in the world. Not recommended for families with abusive situations! It was great to see the film show support for a teen with dreams outside of what the adults wanted. The DVD has a ton of extras and I was really surprised by the amount since this is an "Indy" release. I loved the ending since it kept all in their true character form. If you watch the deleted scenes you will get more out of the older brother's character and watched the "Making of" featurette for a good amount of the actors' love for this film.
cyrexoff

cyrexoff

So much of this one brought back memories- most of them BAD. When I migrated further South (I grew up in "the capitol of the Confederacy"), I was appalled to find myself in what I call "the Soft South" (as in "soft in the head"), where I was referred to as "a damn Yankee" and told that the capitol of the Confederacy was Atlanta, Georgia... "Green" is the kind of friend I would've given anything to have had (especially when I sat through J.R. Bookwalter's THE DEAD NEXT DOOR or perused my own FANGORIA collection). As for the Holier-Than-Thou crowd, be advised that they ARE here (there's literally one church every two blocks here in Crack Town) and they ARE Fanatical (two of my nieces, who were into Goth and Punk, were harassed to the point of having to leave school). The Fanatics have never been able to distinguish between Reality and Religion. (Have the anti-abortionists ever considered having their children spayed and neutered?) It's when LIGHTNING BUG devolves into clumsy clichés that it loses its way (and its Power). (Are we supposed to believe that a self-professed "gore fan" would faint at the sight of his own blood...?) Until that happens, it's a grim but Honest look at Fatherless Southern Kids (the kind I've known my entire life) who have no recourse but Fantasy.
Zacki

Zacki

I had the pleasure of seeing this film twice at the Philadelphia Film Festival where it had the highest attendance of the nearly 300 films featured. It sold out both showings and earned a third showing as one of 15 films selected as the Festival Favorites. Audience comments at the Q & A sessions following the showings were extremely positive. LB was recently featured at the Trenton, NJ festival where it won an award, and can be seen at the upcoming Brooklyn Film Fest & the Boston International Film Fest in June.

I strongly encourage you to get out and see this film! It is a well written, compelling story that draws you in. The juxtaposition of light-hearted, comical scenes with some downright disturbing scenes kept the audience on the edge. Throw in some spectacular performances by the actors ( my favorite - Kevin Gage as the drunken stepfather) and you have a winner!

This is a solid offering from writer/director Robert Hall and it is WELL worth your time to check it out!
Zetadda

Zetadda

Here we go again... "Lightning Bug" is a noble attempt to inject some innovation into the Teens-Coming-Of-Age subgenre, but remains too grounded in convention to properly solidify its earnest intentions. It drips with sappy sentiment, caricatured characters, and a woefully familiar plot that pits Religious Kook against Independent Thinker. Brett Harrison plays a teenage boy with dreams of becoming a Hollywood makeup man; Laura Prepon is the secretive girl whom he loves; Ashley Laurence (who gives one of the film's worthwhile performances) is his put-upon mother; and Kevin Gage (the other worthwhile performance) is the brutal drunk who dominates over the family. Set in the South, God-fearing zealots come out of the woodwork to derail Harrison's goals, as does Gage's blue-collar drunk. Writer-director Robert Hall infuses the film with some affecting passages (Laurence, from "Hellraiser," invokes genuine sympathy), but too often seems to be putting "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" through a horror Cuisinart, with only moderate success. Worth viewing, but certainly nothing spectacular.
Na

Na

Really enjoyed this flick! Wonderfully shot, excellent cast. A bit dark, but plenty of humor and drama mixed in. Green (Brett Harrison) is a great lead character and his acting was fantastic. The whole cast did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life. Some were downright hilarious! Uncle Marvin (Don Gibb) had to be my favorite. Totally over the top and outrageous. Really loved the way the story wrapped. Unpredictable and original. Some of the lines were so funny, I laughed out loud. Some moments so heartbreaking, it made me tear up. I love a good independent film and this is one of the best I have seen in a long time!
uspeh

uspeh

I had the great pleasure of seeing this movie at its world premiere at the Philadelphia Film Festival on April 9, 2004. It is a movie that will grab hold of you and take you on a ride, incorporating many genres of film. It has many moments of laugh out loud comedy, jump out of your seat horror, thrilling scenes of tension and suspense, and many touching and poignant moments of drama. The development of all the characters is done in such a way that you cannot help to like every single one of them. I swear to God that the character of Billy Martin (played to exception by George Faughnan) went to my high school! And if you don't fall for the Southern homespun witticisms of the character of Mr. Tightwiler (portrayed by Bob Penny) then I feel sorry for you!! And the dramatic range and emotion showed by the two lead characters of Green Graves and Angevin Duvey (Brett Harrison and Laura Prepon) is an insight into these two actors that we have not seen in their previous work. I loved seeing this film so much that I caught the second showing the very next night, and there were many things that I hadn't caught the first time through! I would highly recommend EVERYONE to go and see this movie, you will NOT be sorry.
The Apotheoses of Lacspor

The Apotheoses of Lacspor

This film really touched my heart. Robert Hall is a genius. I feel they really underrated this movie. Especially naming the genre horror when it's clearly not a horror. It's definitely a drama. What are people thinking. Even Netflix has improper categorization. Too bad more people haven't discovered this film. It's truly amazing! I'd like to see Robert direct more dramas and comedy films. I haven't yet seen this movie on cable and it's really hard to find in stores. I hope this changes soon. The cast was incredible. It reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel like I'm not alone. This being a true story of Robert Halls life makes me see that not all celebrities have it easy. He worked his way up from the very bottom. This man deserves more out there. He's one of the best! Good luck Robert. I hope to see another drama directed from you soon. Thank you! - Your fan
INwhite

INwhite

lighting bug was a very touching film that hit very close to home for myself and many others who have watched the film. The cast that was chosen was brilliant, Ashley laurence gave a truly amazing performance in this and honestly i think its her best work that truly show cased her true acting skills.

Like myself and many others the abuse that was shown in the film hit home in more ways then one, Robert Hall was our voice and demonstrated that if you have a talent and a dream and the will power you can truly over come any obstacle to achieve it through his film.

This film should be viewed by many and spread amongst anyone who thinks that they cant achieve their dreams cause things are too hard.
Arashilkis

Arashilkis

for relatively novice writer/director Robert Hall and producer Laura Prepon et al., be praised, you have raw creative talent. i saw this film at Philly film festival and was amazed at the depth of plot and level of character development, with only the religious themes being a little cliché or overdone. i recommended the film to all my friends but found the most negative thing working against the film was its limited release, but that's the name of the game in the film business, isn't it, the distribution and how successful one can be in this regard. i have seen the film offered on the Amazon.com website, but only wish more of the general public and laura's fans from T70sS could have seen it. wouldn't that have been nice if Laura could have met Tom Cruise and had him to do the distribution?
Mr.jeka

Mr.jeka

A drama/thriller, set in the South, about a young boy who longs to escape the misery of his childhood and the misunderstanding of his hometown...

I have known about this film for many years, being a serious horror fan and thus a fan of both Robert Hall and Ashley Laurence (both very nice people, by the way). Not until now, with the Blu-Ray release, did I finally get around to checking it out.

Robert Hall impresses. How much of this is autobiographical and how much is not is hard to say -- I suspect it is much more dramatic than the real story. But it works here, and is legitimately frightening in a way that horror films are not -- abuse is a serious fear for many people. Spousal abuse and child abuse are sadly all too real.

The religious aspect I am uncertain about. There are obviously religious people in the South, and I think the film did a good job by showing that not everyone in town thinks Halloween is Satanic (the line for the haunted house is pretty long). I wish they had explained more about how the church was or was not Bible-based...
Jothris

Jothris

For me, a film buff who has seen LOTS of indie films, Lightning Bug truly shows the indepedent spirit. This is a wonderful, heartfelt, semi-autobiographical, story of a young man struggling to find his way in the world and out of the rural south to become a success as a special effects artist.

I have had the chance to see the film twice. Once in a small private screening and then again at the Philly Film Festival with a large audience. While I loved seeing it privately, seeing it with a large audience was incredible. The reactions of the crowd was very telling. The audience reacted with laughter, clapping and quiet reverence throughout the screening. Everyone was truly engaged in the film.

Directed by Robert Hall, with an excellent cast, this very touching film is a must see!!!
Hawk Flying

Hawk Flying

Very cool first time film from Robert Hall. Great performances from Bret Harrison (as I still am bummed about the cancellation of one of my fav TV sitcoms, that he was on Grounded For Life) as the main character Green Graves, ateen with a great talent for making models & for doing very realistic make-up of monsters & blood- n- gore. However, due to the fact that he lives in hillbilly land Alabama & his mom, played very good by the always awesome Ashley Laurence ( who was so amazing in 2 of my all-time fav's, Hellraiser 1 & 2) as a down on her luck very slow-witted trailer-trash mom who against her better judgement has a relationship with a terrible, white-trash mean [email protected]#3#3f^&*&&r who is just one step away from beating her & her 2 kids to death & he also has to contend with the religious fanatics in the town, namely the character of Mrs Duvey played by Shannon Eubanks , who gives a great performance this side of the mom in Carrie, as a woman hell-bent on doing the Lord's Work & carrying & loving her pillow, who she thinks is her absent husband who left her holy-rolling ass for a stripper. Also good was Laura "That 70's Show" Prepon as Green's girlfriend & the young boy Lucas Til who plays Green's little bro. Was billed as a horror film.But it isn't. Horror fans will like it as it has a lot of horroresque material but this film isn't a horror film. But, it is something very special. *** out of ****
Coiron

Coiron

Lightning Bug is above all a great movie. It possesses many aspects of real life and the hardships people face. One thing very unique about the movie is that it sends you through constant emotions; funny, strange, happy, scared, depressed, and mellow. The acting is above all, excellent and the actors and actresses involved possess one thing many other movies don't possess, truth and a surreal reality. By the end of the movie, you feel a different emotion for each character and something as if you knew each person personally. The use of a real-time effect takes you through the movie with ease and emotion. Although the movie is only so long it feels as if you were a part of dealing with each characters hardships especially, Bret Harrison's. Another point to point out is that the selection of music is overly perfect. Kevn Kinney seems to add to the relative tone of the movie and the desolation of a life in Alabama. By the end of seeing the movie you really notice the subtle acting emotions that truly and utterly add to the realism of each scene and moment. Truth be told, the underlying message of the whole movie is: Follow your dreams no matter where they take you, perservation and determination are key in part to everything you dream of and want in life. No dream is out of reach and no dream requires one to give up all fun and past time, but in truth the unique blend of both make each one of us, who we are and determine where we go, stay true and close to your dreams but always remember two things; never forget where you came from and never forget how you got there.
Cel

Cel

The harsh distinction between chasing your dreams and the sometimes brutal reality that can possibly prevent you from obtaining said dreams gets powerfully presented here in a dark, raw, and depressing, yet still gripping, moving, and ultimately heartwarming manner in this adolescent coming-of-age drama set in the bleak and oppressive Deep South. Bret Harrison gives an excellent and sympathetic performance as Green Graves, a hardcore horror buff stuck in a backwards small hick town with a gift for homemade make-up f/x and aspirations towards going to Hollywood to make it big in the motion picture business. Things perk up when the hearty Mr. Tightwiler (nicely played by Bob Penny) hires Green to design his Halloween spook house and Green falls for foxy'n'funky Goth chick video rental outlet clerk Angevin Duvet (a winningly spunky and personable portrayal by the lovely Laura Prepon). However, both Green's monstrous abusive and alcoholic stepfather Earl Knight (a superbly hateful turn by Kevin Gage) and Angevin's strict religious fanatic mother (an amusingly batty Shannon Eubanks) stand in his way. Writer/director Robert Hall's debut feature impresses thanks to its admirable refusal to depict the characters in broad strokes of black and white (for example, the initially unlikable Mrs. Duvet in the long run proves to be a sad and fairly pitiable character), a pungent and utterly convincing evocation of the small country town setting, and a shattering conclusion that mixes heartbreaking tragedy and hard-won triumph in a satisfying and evenly balanced way. Moreover, the central message about staying true to yourself and relentlessly pursuing your lifelong ambitions with unwavering passion and tenacity is articulated with great warmth, clarity, and, most surprisingly, even a good deal of unexpected raunchy'n'rowdy humor. The uniformly sterling acting from the first-rate cast qualifies as another significant asset, with Ashley Laurence in particular a definite stand-out as Green's worn-out, but loving and supportive mother Jenny. Brandon Trost's polished cinematography, Jason Hall's melodic score, and a handful of cool and tuneful country-rock songs by Kevin Kinney all further enhance the exceptional quality of this remarkably poignant sleeper.