Thornton made his mark as writer and actor in One False Move, and his directorial debut (from his own Oscar-winning script) is similarly impressive. He gives a magnificent, hugely credible performance as a retarded man who returns to his hometown in the Deep South after spending years in a psychiatric hospital for having murdered his mother as a child. When he befriends a young boy, his life takes a dramatic new turn. Tender but rarely sentimental, beautifully acted, and shot through with dark humour, this sensitive, insightful drama avoids the usual stereotypes to powerful effect. (And catch the lovely Jim Jarmusch cameo.