Hearts in AtlantisSeptember 28, 2001
A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 6.8/10 (19,752 voted)
Critic's Score: 55/100
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis
This is a gentle, innocent film about the reflections of an aging man, who returns to his home town after the death of his best friend. Memories of life at age 11 floods back as it was a magical time that changed his life. Three 11 year old children (Bobby, Carol, and Sully) share their lives. Carol and Bobby have a special affection for one another including sharing a kiss "by which all others will be measured". Bobby lives with his mother, a bitter, vain woman who looks for pleasures for herself without sharing much with her son. Into their lives comes a mysterious new boarder, who befriends the boy but generates distrust from the mother. As time passes, the man and boy share confidences and special powers are revealed. The man warns the boy to be on the lookout for the "lowmen", who were seeking him. The two share a summer's adventures and come to love one another before the inevitable happens. A confrontation with a school bully also changes everyone.
Writers: Stephen King, William Goldman
Adult Bobby Garfield
(as Timmy Reifsnyder)
Joe T. Blankenship
What if one of life's great mysteries moved in upstairs?
Release Date: 28 September 2001
Filming Locations: Dinwiddie, Virginia, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $9,021,494
(30 September 2001)
(2 December 2001)
Did You Know?
Scott Hicks calls the castle ruin figurine at the bottom of the carnival fish tank his "Atlantis reference" (commentary at 37:40).
The money that Bobby throws at his mother changes from behind her feet to in front of her feet.
Bobby Garfield (Adult):
Whenever it wants, the past can come kicking the door down. And you never know where it's going to take you. All you can do is hope it's a place you want to go.
Bobby Garfield (Adult):
[answering machine message]
Hi, you have reached the Garfield family. Jill and the boys are away skiing, you can reach them on their various cellphones. Me, I'm going to be on the road for a few days. I'll be back Tuesday.
A big, fat 'wow'
For some, Stephen King is just a mere auteur of horror stories. If you look
closer, you'll see he is much more. Nearly all his stories are melancholic
tales about the loss of childhood innocence. With a paranormal twist, but
that really isn't the most important. I even think that Hearts in Atlantis
would have worked even better, if the whole paranormal thing would have been
left out. The most interesting aspects of the story are Bobby Garfield and
his relationship with his mother, girlfriend and Ted. Whenever Ted brought
up the low-men, my personal interest curve got a bit of a dip, but hey it's
a Stephen King movie, I guess we'll have to live with it.
As it is, Hearts in Atlantis remains a wonderful film. It's the kind of film
where the scenes in the present are filmed in gloomy blue and grey tones,
and all the flashbacks get a golden sepia treatment. Sure it's been done
before, but rarely have the effects been of such a shattering
Anthony Hopkins, never shy of giving a bombastic performance, is remarkably
soft-spoken in this one, though I doubt that he was really interested in
this movie. The star of the show, however, is Anton Yelchin as Bobby
Garfield. He looks like the young Elijah Wood, with the same angelic blue
eyes, and he's truly captivating. He even has genuine chemistry with the
girl that plays his love interest. A big fat wow' is in order here, let's
hope he'll get the chance to exploit his talents further.
It's a shame this movie failed at the box-office, but then again so did The
Shawshank Redemption. So let's all rent/buy this wonderful film, and boost
that IMDb score.
I gave this one a 9/10.