EXODUS FALL It seems churlish to kick a film as paradoxically weightless as Exodus Fall — like raising a foot to a puppy whose baleful eyes are fixed on you. Billed as a coming-of-age film, Exodus (set in 1974 and told in voice-over-assisted flashback) follows three teen siblings — one with special needs — as they journey cross-country to their doting grandma (Dee Wallace) in escape from their alcoholic, abusive mom (Rosanna Arquette). Along the way they learn life lessons from folks they meet, including a kindly fisherman and a scruffily handsome, vaguely Christlike Vietnam vet who says things like, "Next time you see someone who's down, help pick 'em up. You never know what they might be growing through." Co-directors Ankush Kohli and Chad Waterhouse, working from Waterhouse's script, never fully strike the balance between telling the story from a teen's POV (with its simplistic psychological analysis and naive perspective on the world) and imbuing characters with nuance. It's all broad strokes, resulting in performances (especially Arquette's) void of subtlety — more the rendering of types than characters. At least the landscapes the kids cross are gorgeously shot, and it's a mild thrill to see how well Christopher Atkins (as the kids' hyperidealized dad) is aging: He's still a babe. (Ernest Hardy) (Music Hall)
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.