American Heart

The first feature of Martin Bell, director of the documentary Streetwise, about street kids in Seattle, which was nominated for an Oscar. Jeff Bridges is as impressive as usual, playing a convict fresh out of prison and determined to go straight who reluctantly agrees to take in his son (Edward Furlong) when the boy turns up on his doorstep in Seattle. The script, by Peter Silverman, generally does a good job depicting what living on the edge is like, moving along at a fairly lifelike and uneventful pace, so it’s a pity that the plot culminates in a slew of melodramatic contrivances that leave a lot of strands hanging. The interesting secondary cast includes Lucinda Jenney, Don Harvey, and Tracey Kapisky. (JR)

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