A 13-year-old boy embarks upon a perilous quest to discover the enigma of his estranged father's illness in this dark drama that is based on a critically acclaimed 1948 novel by Truman Capote. Joel Sansom has just arrived to his father's ramshackle Deep South plantation. He hasn't seen his dad in nine years and wants to know why his father abandoned them. Unfortunately, the sour mistress of the home, Amy Skully refuses to let Joel see him. Meanwhile he meets his strange cousin Randolph. He also meets a Negro servant and they become close friends. Though anxious to see his father, Amy and Randolph continue to hedge, telling him the old man is too weak to entertain visitors. To fill his empty hours, Joel begins looking about the home for clues. He also hasa few eye-opening meetings with Randolph who slowly tells him about his relationship with the ailing father. Randolph's tale is told via flashback. It began years ago when Randolph fell in love with a handsome Cuban prizefighter. Unrequited love became obsession and this in turn, caused a terrible accident involving Joel's father. As Joel's investigation continues, Randolph and Amy begin trying to coerce him to stay. Their insistence takes a darker turn when they start stealing his mail and trying to keephim isolated from the world outside the great house.
Based on Truman Capote's semi-autobiographical story, this sensitive drama centers on Joel, a 13-year-old boy in the '30s South who decides to see his long-missing father following his mother's death. Turned away after travelling to his dad's crumbling mansion, Joel meets a mysterious woman and her gay, kimono-wearing cousin, who spins tales that capture his imagination. With Lothaire Bluteau, Anna Thomson and David Speck. 94 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.