SECOND BEST Add To My Top 10

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Violence        
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Release Date: September 30, 1994

Starring: William Hurt, Prunella Scales, Jane Horrocks, Alan Cumming, Keith Allen, Alfred Lynch, John Hurt, Nathan Yapp, & Chris Cleary Miles

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults & older teenagers

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 105 minutes

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Director:

Executive Producer:

Producer:

Writer: David Cook (adapted from his novel)

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Content:

(H, B, L, V, S, M) Humanism with minor, loosely-biblical elements; 1 obscenity & 1 vulgarity; self injury by child & implied suicide; celibacy questioned; and, boy urinates in woods (no nudity), cigarette smoking, & mature themes of death of loved ones & abandonment.

Summary:

SECOND BEST is the bittersweet story of a 42-year-old, single, Welsh postmaster who tries to begin a family of his own by adopting a troubled, abandoned 10-year-old boy. This strangely uplifting, beautifully written and photographed film does contain moments of some self-mutilation (although they are not too graphic) and has mature themes of abandonment and death while both the postmaster and the child come to terms with unresolved pasts.

Review:

SECOND BEST is the bittersweet story of a single, Welsh postmaster, Graham Holt (played by William Hurt), who desperately wants a family of his own and attempts to adopt a child. Living in a tiny village in the Welsh countryside, 42-year-old Graham has had little life outside of caring for his invalid father. The boy that the adoption agency finds for him is 10-year-old James, whose father left him at an orphanage just before entering prison sentence. With a troubled past that he has yet to face and a penchant for self-mutilation, James is devoted to his father and resentful of anyone attempting to take his place. Both Graham and James must come to terms with their own unresolved pasts while they attempt to begin an entirely new family.

Shot almost entirely in the beautiful countryside of Wales, SECOND BEST is a warm, strangely uplifting film. With beautiful cinematography, music and performances (with the notable exception of a weak Welsh accent by Hurt), the quality of the film is high. There are, however, mature themes of abandonment and death, and the scenes that depict James' self-inflicted injuries are disturbing, if not particularly graphic, making this suitable for only the most mature teenager.

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