Ten Thousand Saints | Chicago Reader

Ten Thousand Saints

Rated R 113 minutes 2015

A freewheeling pot dealer (Ethan Hawke) abandons his wife (Julianne Nicholson) and two kids in Vermont to start a new family in New York City with the woman who's carrying his baby (Emily Mortimer); a few years later he's joined by his teenage son from the first marriage (Asa Butterfield), who runs wild with dad's jaded stepdaughter (Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit). Writer-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor) adapted this drama from a hefty novel by Eleanor Henderson, and the film shows all the earmarks of a story too heavily compressed; the complications among the entwined families pile up after a while, and the period milieu—mid-80s Manhattan, amid the civic breakdown of the Koch years and the generational backlash of straight-edge punk—feels arbitrary. Hawke does his shaggy stoner bit as the father, though Steinfeld steals the movie as the haughty but vulnerable object of the son's unspoken desire.


Ten Thousand Saints

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