The Wise Kids

The Wise Kids

DVD - 2013
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Three members of a church youth group struggle to find their identities in their senior year of high school.
Publisher: New Almaden, California : Wolfe Video, ©2013.
ISBN: 9781935423645
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (95 min.) :,sound, color ;,12 cm.
digital, video, surround
video file, DVD, rda


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May 31, 2017

A thoughtful, un-sensational movie about the conflicts that arise in a Southern Christian community. The director describes it as humanist, which seems right to me. It neither glorifies gay relationships nor nor denigrates Christian ones, but shows the inevitable tension that arises in a church context when literal interpretation of scripture is confronted by changing social values, particularly regarding love, sexual identity and alcohol use. The young actors are focused and sincere, and the director, who appears as a thirty-something discovering his gay identity, gives us many chances to see their emotions at work.

Mar 27, 2014

The Wise Kids is an excellent exploration of faith and identity, a low key film that avoids the melodrama typical of films that address the subjects it does. It would probably be especially of interest to young adults who have grown up in a conservative Christian setting they no longer feel connected to in the way they once did.

The characters and situations are real enough that the film at times almost feels like a documentary.

Most movies dealing with questions of faith and sexuality resort to carefully written speeches of revelation to tell how their characters are feeling. The Wise Kids uses few words, quiet cues, and occasional flustered statements to reveal what's going on in the characters hearts and minds.

Another unusual thing about the Wise Kids is that no one of faith is portrayed as wrong in their views. It's also not a propaganda film in that no way of viewing life is shown as being better than the other.

My only caveat with the Wise Kids is though it's well worth seeing it's not particularly memorable. The film sort of feels like a pleasant weekend visiting your family, nice but it just blends in with other nice visits. Some of my lack of impression may have to do with my age. Though the Wise Kids isn't meant to be a young adult movie I know that had I seen this film in my 20s it would probably have been a film I'd have watched many times.

Jul 31, 2013

I was very pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable and affecting this film was. It's understated and simple, but very eloquently illustrates 3 teenagers' explorations of faith, sexuality, and identity. It doesn't argue or preach, it just is. The three lead characters are all well acted, but Allison Torem was a particular standout (in probably the most difficult role). A real sleeper gem.

jmmason Jan 23, 2013

This movie, which seems like it's 17 hours long, is tedious and pedantic. It serves as a great reminder why I strenuously avoid religious types. The "wise" kids are really just little bores.

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