Fred Tate (Hann-Byrd) is a gifted child: by age seven, he can play the piano backwards, paint like a master, and solve complex maths problems. But at school he's bored in lessons, and left doodling Da Vinci-style while other pupils frolic in the playground. Single parent mother Dede (Foster) comes into conflict with child psychologist Jane Grierson (Wiest), who takes the boy under her wing: tough-talking Dede is ready with the hugs, while Jane serves up macrobiotics and disciplinary lectures. Foster's directorial debut is a worthy attempt to explore a little understood subject, but the film is bogged down by an approach to Wiest and Foster's characters which polarises intellect and emotion. Hann-Byrd has more to grapple with, and perfectly conveys Fred's jumbled motives and acute sensitivity. Tackling a difficult project, Foster draws good performances from her cast, but could have done with a better script.
Cast and crew
Harry Connick Jr