Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Actor-turned-director and producer Griffin Dunne (Practical Magic, Addicted to Love) teams up with scenarist Dirk Wittenborn for the slice-of-life ensemble drama Fierce People. As summer encroaches, 16-year-old Manhattanite Finn Earl (Anton Yelchin) would love nothing more than to trek off to South America and spend the year's sun-drenched months near the equator, embarking on thrilling adventures with his estranged archaeologist father, whom he's never met. Alas, the bonds of family rein in tight when Finn's booze- and coke-addled mother, the masseuse Liz (Diane Lane), cries out for help -- and, in the process, unwittingly gets Finn arrested. In a dramatic attempt to reverse circumstances and sort out the complications in both of their lives, Liz insists on taking custody of Finn for the summer. Both, she insists, will live in the home of one of her former massage clients, the aging billionaire Ogden C. Osborne (Donald Sutherland) -- with whom she may be amorously involved. Though Finn agrees begrudgingly at first, in time he finds the environment welcoming -- as he develops a crush on Ogden's gorgeous granddaughter (Kristen Stewart) and befriends Ogden's grandson. But when an unforeseen and shocking act of violence erupts, it estranges Finn and Liz from their posh surroundings and provides a sobering, harrowing reminder of the socioeconomic differences between the Earls and their new friends.
class-consciousness, class-system, drug-addiction, mother, single-parent, high-society, social-climber