GUARDING EDDY: DVD
Eddy Peterson (Brian Presley), a likeable 18 year old Autistic basketball crazed kid, has been sent to Los Angeles because his parents, especially his abusive father, don't want the responsibility of taking care of him. Hungry and without resources in Los Angeles, Eddy lands in a homeless shelter. There he meets the director of the program, Carol (Anna Maria Horsford), who introduces him to his new Big Brother, Mike Jeffreys (Kiko Elsworth), a young African American college basketball star who jeopardised his shot at the pros with a knee injury. Mike serves at the shelter as part of his court ordered community service. What begins as a duty turns into a friendship as Mike and Eddy learn from one another. As Mike assumes increasing responsibility for Eddy, he comes to understand the mental and verbal abuse Eddy suffered at home which has contributed to his mentally challenged state. Eddy learns independence and finds his place in the world.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A hidden gem of a movie; instantly engaging and honest, Scott McKinsey's directing debut of this fact-inspired story impresses with its avoidance of fake sentiment, it's excellent casting and its tangibly authentic tone. Brian Presley is likeable and credible as the Autistic Eddy, whose basketball ambitions cover up an abused childhood.
Within minutes we're hooked as Eddy arrives in Los Angeles by bus from Arizona, where he finds a centre for the homeless. Anna Maria Horsford makes her Carol a real character as the head of the program, with a caring but tough approach which makes her real - and she quickly gains our respect. Kiko Elsworth is equally engaging and terrific as Mike, who is assigned to Eddy by Carol as his 'big brother'. Elsworth exudes both confidence and decency, but he's no saint. Both Elsworth and Presley won acting awards at the Boston Film Festival, and Presley also picked up the Award for Best Narrative Feature.
The film's mood shifts a gear with the dramatic confrontation with Eddy's parents, when we discover the ugliness of his father's venom and his domineering abuse. Mike is shocked, and takes Eddy under his wing - not just out of duty. It's to Mike that Eddy confesses, in a moving and sensitively directed scene, how his father made him feel worthless and how badly he wants to change that. And it's up to Mike to be a real friend and do something that really hurts Eddy - for his own long term good.
With its satisfying and moving resolution, the film gives 'feel good' endings a good name.
Published January 29, 2009
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GUARDING EDDY: DVD (PG)
CAST: Anna Maria Horsford, Brian Presley, Kiko Ellsworth, John Homa, Lee Arlington
PRODUCER: Brian Presley
DIRECTOR: Scott McKinsey
SCRIPT: Paul Dvaidson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Chris Norr
EDITOR: Thomas Dawson jr, Scott Kay
MUSIC: Matt Kresling
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bruce Shibley
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Peacock Films
DVD RELEASE: July 23, 2008