Friday, March 30

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
(2006, Dito Montiel)

Generally if a movie doesn't make a certain amount of money in it's opening weekend, it's quickly pushed aside and forgotten about, that is until it comes out on video/dvd, where people will hopefully discover it. That's what happened with this fantastic coming of age movie A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. I had heard of this movie when it was briefly in the theaters, but I never got a chance to go see it. So since it has just recently been released on DVD, I got my chance to watch this heartwarmingly unforgettable film.

This film was directed & written by Dito Montiel, and it's an autobiographical coming of age story of his hard scrabble life growing up in Astoria, Queens, NYC during the 1980's. Dito believes that the only way he can escape his fate of either ending up dead, on drugs or in jail as all his friends eventually experience is by escaping to California, where eventually becomes a successful writer. So after having left 15 years ago with out a word, Dito is finally called home again to deal with his ailing father(played by an always great Chazz Palminteri) and all his memories of his youth come flooding back to him. Young Dito is played by the great young actor Shia LaBeouf, while the older Dito is played by a restrained Robert Downey Jr.

The movie doesn't focus too heavily on the present day Dito, but more on his youth and his friends that he grew up with, while on the tough streets of Queens. The cast of young actors in this film are great and in my opinion make the film what it is. It was them that were able to portray the raw emotion and energy that is Dito Montiels script and movie.

This film also stars Rosario Dawson, Channing Tatum and Dianne Wiest

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints @ imdb
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints trailer
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints official site

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