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Marking the directorial debut of Academy Award winning actress Jodie Foster, is the simple but effectively told story of a troubled child genius and his relationship with his trailer park barmaid mother. Originally released back in 1991 at the height of her popularity and career, the film also features Foster in the comparatively small but pivotal role of the devoted barmaid mum who is daunted by and fears her eight year old son’s prodigious brilliance.Hotly anticipated at the time of its release, disappointed critics and failed to ignite the box office beyond a slow simmer. A small film that self-consciously failed to capitalise on the star-turned-director’s serious actress clout at the box office, <Tate eschewed the sort of fiery bleak dramatics that had made Foster a star, in favour of a straightforward story un-flashily told.

A decade on, it is perhaps for that very reason, that appears to have aged well. Proving herself to be an assured first-time director, the consummate actress Foster also puts in a suitably compelling performance, with equally effective support from a cast of notables and talented newcomers including Dianne Wiest, Debi Mazar, Harry Connick Jnr and Adam Hann-Byrd debuting in the title role. Low-key but effective DVD entertainment

Available from www.totaldvd.com.au for only $27.95