Based on a True Story can go either way.
Too schmaltzy and hollywoody and it can suck balls at the highest level but it can also tell an intimate story that make have the power to move.
This falls into the latter…just.
There are 3 montage/song sequences that got less annoying as they were revealed.
The first one comes in at around 50 minutes and having had 50 minutes of a pretty decent story looked like it may descend into the usual formulaic nonsense.
By the third one I was in a forgiving mood, I had been told the story now and was invested enough in the characters to ‘low any vehemental judgements.
Spencer Lofranco plays the titular boy was suitably low key and histrionic-less in his portrayal of the wayward teenager James Burns, a troubled, acting out teenager who can’t seem to keep himself on the right side of the law. His performance was believable and suitably convincing.
Prison films can also suck it real good (pun intended) but this, again, was low key enough to feel real, mired in politics from the C.E.O.s and inmates alike, it is easy to see why and how the system fails.
I didn’t really tell you much about the film and to be fair, it may or may not be your cup of tea. It has a gritty realism to it that allows the viewer to feel the discomfort of the situation and at the same time empathise with the characters on screen.
I enjoyed it. Mary-Louise Parker, James Woods, Ving Rhames, that’s good enough right?
If you fancy an evening in the company of the lesser fortunate then this one’s for you.