Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go
Starring: Common, Michael Rainey Jr.,
Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert,
Charles S. Dutton, Meagan God,
Lonette McKee, Michael Kenneth
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: Indomina Releasing
Director: Sheldon Canis
Executive Producer: Thomas B. Fore
Producer: Justin Michael Berman, Michael
Jenson, Gordon Bijelonic,
Writer: Sheldon Canis
Address Comments To:Jasbinder Singh Mann, CEO, Indomina Group (Indomina Releasing)
9355 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 271-4500; Fax: (310) 271-4509
Michael Rainey Jr. delivers a stunning debut performance as an 11-year-old boy named Woody, who lives with his grandmother. Woody is supposed to be taken to school by his Uncle Vincent but finds himself instead running the streets of Baltimore with his uncle over the course of a day and night.
Vincent is freshly out of prison from drug and violent charges, but wants to go straight by opening a giant crab restaurant on the Baltimore harbor. In an effort to get some money for that, however, he falls immediately into shady behavior, bribing a friend to get him false credit reports and ID before a bank meeting about a business loan. He takes Woody everywhere he goes over the course of the day. The bank tells Vincent he needs to come up with $22,000 in three days or lose out on a much bigger loan. As a result, the day for Vincent, and his young nephew, spirals out of control.
As flawed as Vincent is, he clearly has some Christian faith and wishes to make his life right. However, the movie is a tragic portrayal of a life mired in sin. Ultimately, the uncle’s influence traumatizes the young nephew, who more than anything just wants to go see his mom, who’s in drug rehab in North Carolina.
Writer-director Sheldon Canis expertly shows the world as seen through young Woody’s eyes, both the bad and the good. The movie shows Woody joyfully experiencing happy moments like learning to drive in an empty parking lot or enjoying shopping for a new suit bought by his uncle. It also shows Woody experiencing terror and sadness in moments where his uncle faces drug dealers and death. All this results in a mixed ending, with [SPOILER] Woody digging up his uncle’s drug money and jumping into his car to head for a hoped-for reunion with his mother.
Despite the immoral behavior Woody is subjected to, LUV has a profound sense of being caught between good intentions and bad realities. Thus, it depicts the dark world in which too many urban youths in America encounter, but hope is held out for a better future. In fact, as the final credits begin to roll, the movie cites Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And, when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Even so, extreme caution is warranted because of too much foul language and some intense violence involving a child.
LUV expertly shows a fallen world through a young boy’s eyes, both the bad and the good. The boy’s uncle has some Christian faith and wishes to make his life right, but his life is still mired in sin. The ending is mixed, but it’s followed with the line from Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Even so, extreme caution is warranted because of too much foul language and some intense violence involving a child.