Ten Thousand Saints

(USA 2014)

Married team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s banal coming-of-age story clearly aimed at Gen X. Going by the references, the story takes place in 1987 and 1988 when New York City still had post-punk cool credibility. Crunchy Jude (Asa Butterfield) and his best friend, Teddy (Avan Jogia), meet urbane Eliza (Hailee Steinfeld), the daughter of the girlfriend of Jude’s dad (Ethan Hawke) who is slumming from Manhattan, at a New Year’s Eve party in Vermont. Events from that night lead Jude to New York, where he moves in with his father and reunites with Eliza, who it turns out is in trouble deep and has been losing sleep: she’s pregnant, and she’s keeping her baby, mmm. An unconventional family unit starts to gel with Teddy’s “straight-edge” brother, Johnny (Emile Hirsch), the singer of a punk band.

Too nostalgic for my taste and not exactly deep, Ten Thousand Saints is neither awful nor anything to write home about. I’m not sure what Ethan Hawke saw in the script– not that he picks the most interesting vehicles, anyway. Adapted from Eleanor Henderson’s novel of the same name. Meh.

(Gene Siskel Film Center) C-

http://www.sundance.org/projects/ten-thousand-saints

 

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