Anton Yelchin, Robin Williams, Tea Leone, Erykah Badu, Zelda Williams and David
Directed/written by: David Duchovny
speaking? House of D trips the light fantastic; a time piece film that
manages to capture that odd, inevidable, cusp of adulthood we've all had, or will
experience; the monumental peer-pressure events that now seem minuscule, the development
of thoughts outside your inner-circle, and coping with life's sometimes tough
This is actor David Duchovny's film; he wrote, directed and has a supporting role;
and he's created a touching film that is remarkable on many levels.
is fourteen year old (at the time of filming), Anton Yelchin, aside Robin Williams,
that truly makes an already wonderfully written, often funny, always warm, ode
to maturing spectacular.
Tommy Warshaw (David Duchovny) is an American living in Paris. He's
just arrived home - late - for his young son's birthday. As his wife screams French
profanities at the scalawag out the courtyard window, Tommy slips into his memory.
We head back with him, to the roots of his disattached affections
now the 1970's and Tommy (Anton Yelchin), all of fourteen, is enjoying his life
in Greenwich Village New York. His mom (Tea Leone) and himself live in cramped
cozy shadow-filled apartment. The two recently lost husband and father, and the
sadness is stamped, like a sailor's tattoo, upon his mother's once beautiful spirit.
closest friend is his boy's school janitor, Pappass (Robin Williams). Pappass
is a "retarded" man with the heart and mind of a ten year old, and the
man-look of his forty years.
two run errands for a David Lynch-like Butcher Shoppe couple, and hope to one
day save up enough for this cool bike they continually pass in the window
hide their tip money, from their deliveries, beneath the sullen window of The
House of D. The detention center for women, right smack in the middle of the city.
of the ladies (Erykah Badu) notices their shenanigans and engages Tommy. The two
start to chat on a regular basis. Tommy seems to feel secure in confiding in "the
lady" because she can't really get out, she can't even see him properly through
her tiny jail window; it's like some form of peep show styled therapy.
Tommy already faced with his inevitable growing up, is now thrust into events
that will change his life forever. He meets a girl named Melissa (Zelda Williams).
She's beautiful and sweet. He is starting to like girls. His beloved Pappass is
having a hard time with Tommy's amorous awakenings. He wigs out and sets into
motion a catastrophic series of unfortunate events. Ironically, the one person
in Tommy's small world that will guide him, is the last person you'd think
one would get life changing advice from...
film's middle is its heart, and breadth, thanks to the completely believable friendship
between Anton (young Tommy) and Robin Williams. The two actors waltz around the
screen so comfortably, it's as if we're watching 16mm footage found inside the
garage of dear friends. This Anton Yelchin puppy is a sturdy and remarkable find.
His talent is well beyond his years. Robin Williams is completely in touch with
his "inner child" and a phenomenal actor - he gives the mentally handicapped
Pappass layers of sweetness and underlying strength; it's a grand performance.
Tea Leone, as the sinking mother, is going to tie-your-tummy in knots. She's wonderful.
details bring the 70's vividly to life - you are transported, not just by a very
cool soundtrack (which includes a rendition of 'Melissa' by Erykah Badu), but
by the cinematography, ambiance and delightful set production.
director David Duchovny has created a helluva film here. I'm not so hip to the
film's saccharin ending - but the rest of the film with Williams and Yelchin (the
non-in France elder Tommy family frames, with Duchovny's strange droll voice narrating)
are simply great film making. If he keeps this ability to truly capture time and
feeling on film? You'll be able to file him with the great auteurs shortly. Enjoy.
recommendation: Fresh ground beef - delivered.