Karl Childers (Thornton), a simple-minded Arkansan, has just gotten out of a mental hospital after 25 years of imprisonment and treatment. He had been abused by his fanatically religious parents, and at the age of 12 Karl killed his mother's lover on the mistaken notion that he was attacking her. When she reacted with rage, he killed her too. Now he's trying to make a life for himself outside, back in his Arkansas hometown, without very little notion of how the world works. He befriends a small boy named Frank (Black), and her sympathetic mother Linda (Canerday) allows Karl to live in their garage. Linda's boss and best friend, the supermarket manager Vaughan (Ritter), is a somewhat apologetic gay man, but her boyfriend Doyle (Yoakam) is abusive and sometimes violent. A confrontation builds between the three men in her life: Doyle, Vaughan, and Karl. Thornton directed this 1996 film adaptation of his own play and screenplay as well as starring, and its a strong, memorable film -- and even better performance. He won an Oscar for Best Screenplay based on Material from Another Medium.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
Carl is a mental patient who is released from an institution. He has a slow mind but understands more about how people should be treated and cared for than most of the other characters. He meets a young boy and they become good friends. Carl is often a guest at the boy's house and observes that the boy's mother is living with an abusive boyfriend. Carl deals with trying to help out his friend and his past concerning his upbringing and his father. The bond that Carl and the boy share is moving and carries the story to the climax. Once Carl is sure his friend is taken care of, he takes matters into his own hands. He sacrifices his freedom so that there is no more abuse.
The review of this Movie prepared by Kristy Pastore