Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
In the tradition of My Left Foot (1989), Peter Chelsom directed this emotional drama of outcasts, adapted from the Rodman Philbrick's popular young-adult novel Freak the Mighty. Although burly, slow-paced eight-grader Maxwell Kane (Elden Hensen), who narrates, is learning disabled, he nevertheless has a poetic soul, as evidenced when he meets the bright and brainy Kevin Dillon (Kieran Culkin), crippled by a birth defect. The physically deformed Kevin, who wears leg braces and uses crutches, suffers from Morquio's Syndrome, which causes physical growth to stop after the age of six. Illiterate Max gets Kevin as a reading tutor, and the two misfits soon become friends, sharing a vision of life as a contemporary Camelot. Gena Rowlands and Harry Dean Stanton appear as Max's grandparents and guardians. Max is portrayed by 19-year-old Emerson College filmmaking student Henson, while Sharon Stone has the role of Gwen Dillon, Kevin's mother. Boston-born author Philbrick, who winters in Key West, otherwise resides in Seacoast, New Hampshire (the setting of the book). The movie was filmed at a soundstage in Toronto, the University of Toronto, Cincinnati, and Covington, Kentucky. Exhibited out of competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
friendship, birth-defects, learning-disabilities, misfit, terminal-illness, mother, single-parent