King of the Hill

Now, we come to one that is definitely in my top 10 of Adrien’s performances.

lester

Cast: Jeroen Krabbe’, Lisa Eichhorn, Karen Allen, Spalding Gray, Elizabeth McGovern, and Jesse Bradford as Aaron (featuring: Adrien Brody, Amber Benson, Katherine Heigl and Lauren Hill)

Written by: A.E. Hotchner (memoir), Steven Soderbergh (screenplay)

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Genre: Drama, Biography/History

Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Released: August 20, 1993 (U.S.)

King of the Hill is, to use an overused phrase: a powerful film.

It gives you an unflinching look into The Great Depression (a time of great economic hardship in the 1930s) from a young man’s perspective.

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The Boy Who Cried Bitch

 

Adrien in the film
pardon the Dutch subtitles

Cast (opening credits order): Harley Cross, Karen Young, Dennis Boutsikaris, Adrien Brody, Gene Canfield, Moira Kelly

Written by: Catherine May Levin

Directed by: Juan Jose Campanella

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Released: April 24, 1991 (U.S.)

Rated: Not rated (would be “R”)

Full disclosure: The first time I watched this movie (last November), I basically watched Adrien Brody’s scenes. The second time (this summer), I skimmed through to get the gist of it. This time, I figured I needed to really pay attention to the entire film if I was to review it. So I did. Also, I don’t own this film (I’ve never found an official release), I watch it via YouTube (a VHS rip with Dutch subtitles).

In all honesty, this is a very unsettling and dark story and is hard to watch at times. It is almost a cautionary tale about being a more involved parent (and seeking help for your own issues, lest you pass down worse ones).

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Home At Last

Cast (in opening credits order): Frank Converse, Caroline Lagerfelt, Sasha Radetsky, and Adrien Brody as Billy.

Written & Directed by: David deVries

Genre: A family drama about farm life and values, similar in tone to say, “Old Yeller” or “Where the Red Fern Grows.”

Running time: 59 minutes

Released: 1988

MPAA Rating: unrated, but I’d say it’s a “G”

Note: I did a deep dive on this one, mostly because it’s not that common of a movie. I figured, in this case, “spoilers” are helpful. 

Where We Start

Billy is a tough troublemaker from New York, trying to fit in with a Swedish immigrant family on a farm in Nebraska. There are some bumps along the way, but the story of Billy’s transformation plays out nicely in the film’s short run time.

As we start out, a prologue (black screen, white text and a voice over) provides some background to the story. “From 1853 to 1929,” the voice explains, “over [150,000] homeless orphans were sent west to new homes and new lives on ‘orphan trains.'”

We then open on New York City, 1882. There, we are introduced to Billy (Adrien Brody), who is petting and speaking to a carriage horse named Susie. He then greets customers boarding a carriage, who fail to place a tip in Billy’s outstretched hand.

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