It is the strangest thing for a movie buff to have any movie simply slip right by him, unheard, unseen. Especially a good movie. A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints is one such film. By chance or something more universal perhaps, I happened to fall upon this movie and I thought it was simply great if not one of the best films in the past year.
The story shifts between a grown Ditto and a young Ditto, played by Robert Downey Jr and Shia LeBouf respectively, the former of whom is a successful writer that travels home to New York to see his sick father. Most of the story centers on events of the past as the young Ditto and his three friends roam their block during one hot summer in 1986. Meanwhile the present Ditto is struggling to come to terms with his past and the fate of his friends who are either dead, on drugs or in jail.
The acting was pretty phenomenal. The model-turned-actor Channing Tatum does quite the edgy job playing the tough Antonio as does Shia LeBouf, who always looks like he’s too young to be that good an actor. And so was the story telling for that matter. Ditto Montiel who not only directed the film but wrote the book of the same name, which is a memoir of his young life, does an outstanding job I think of weaving together the pieces of his life for the viewers. He really brings the film to life with those little details; in one scene all the young actors have a one line soliloquy for instance.
So if you’re looking for a good to watch, with a good story to tell, this one’s a keeper. And I think I’m going to read the book when I get the chance.
Bottom Line: 4/5