Beautiful Ohio

Beautiful Ohio

Director: Chad Lowe Cast: Brett Davern, David Call, Rita Wilson
4.0 1


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Beautiful Ohio

Longtime actor Chad Lowe makes his feature directorial debut with this quiet family drama focusing on two young brothers as it explores the elaborate family dynamics and rapidly-evolving social attitudes during the dawn of the 1970s. Simon (John Hurt and Judith Messerman (Rita Wilson) are progressive parents who want nothing but the best for their two boys Clive (David Call) and William (Brett Davern). A highly-intelligent math prodigy whose seems set to claim the top prize at the upcoming mathmatics competition, troubled Clive frequently disconnects from his doting parents by speaking in a made-up language that nobody but himself can understand. William, on the other hand, is just trying to get by as he struggles to work his way out from under the formidable shadow cast by his older sibling. When Clive's provocative girlfriend Sandra (Michelle Trachtenberg enters into the equation harboring a decidedly sensitive secret, the tempestuous relationship between the two brothers will soon put to the ultimate test.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/25/2008
UPC: 0796019814850
Original Release: 2006
Rating: NR
Source: Ifc
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:30:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brett Davern William Messerman
David Call Clive Messerman
Rita Wilson Judith Messerman
William Hurt Simon Messerman
Michelle Trachtenberg Sandra Sorento
Hale Appleman Elliot
Thomas McCarthy Adult William Messerman
Julianna Margulies Mrs. Cubano
Matt Servitto Mr. Cubano
Ilo Orleans Jay Minton
Spencer Grammer Carlene
Isiah Whitlock Mr. Lebreaux

Technical Credits
Chad Lowe Director,Producer
Marie Abma Costumes/Costume Designer
Kerry Barden Casting
Dondi Bastone Musical Direction/Supervision
Stephen Beatrice Production Designer
Brian Bell Co-producer
Mark Burton Producer
Ethan Canin Screenwriter
Suzanne Crowley Casting
Gail D'Agostino Executive Producer
Amy E. Duddleston Editor
Billy Hopkins Casting
Tim Hoy Executive Producer
Stephen Kazmierski Cinematographer
Reginald Miller Executive Producer
Paul Schnee Casting
Jenny Schweitzer Co-producer
Hilary Swank Producer
Noah Vivekanand Timan Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas G. Varga Sound/Sound Designer
Craig Wedren Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Beautiful Ohio
1. Celebration Pancakes [:16]
2. Quarter Finals [:10]
3. Secret [5:25]
4. Gifted Brother [8:46]
5. Cheap Pretty [4:33]
6. Intelligence Hated [5:35]
7. Rosetta Stone [4:38]
8. Reinvent [6:34]
9. County Champion [6:53]
10. Grades Matter [5:45]
11. Equations [7:18]
12. At the Lake [3:56]
13. Didn't Win [6:57]
14. Ping Pong? [4:16]
15. Hungarian [5:35]
16. End Credits [3:44]

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Beautiful Ohio 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Ethan Canin is one of our more important authors (`America, America', `Emperor of the Air', `The Palace Thief' which became the film `The Emperor's Club') and to discover a screenplay/story by him is a treat. BEAUTIFUL OHIO is a fascinating little film directed by Chad Lowe about an apparently close knit family that knows really very little about each other: it is Canin's purpose to unravel the stories of 'ordinary people confronting aspects of themselves they'd rather not see.' Behind each member's delusions and hopes to ultimately reach the mid-ground of recognition of just how special is each member is where this very tender story travels.

Simon Messerman (William Hurt) is an insurance salesman who happens to read voraciously and speaks in quotations of famous writers and thinkers. His wife Judith (Rita Wilson) is equally bright, quotes as often as William, but adds a flavor of correcting people's grammar and living in a world of her beloved composers (Chopin, Schumann, Mozart, etc). They have two sons - Clive (David Call) is a long-haired math genius who despite his gifts spends his time playing loud hard rock music and speaking in a language all his own, and William (Brett Davern) who is devoted to his more intelligent brother but longs for a sense of normalcy in a family that tends to fragment at odd times. Clive's best friend and the only person who understands his special language is Elliot (Hale Appleman): the two of them essentially keep to themselves and smoke pot while they are not entertaining the 'homeless' Sandra (Michelle Trachtenberg). Sandra chooses to live in the basement of the Messerman house to avoid coping with her own abusive parents. The four youngsters are a team of sorts, thought the interrelationship roles each plays is not at first apparent.

The Messermans brag about Clive's constant triumphs at math contests, entertain their neighbors the Cubanos (Matt Servitto and Julianna Marguiles), and fill their lives with attending math meets, basically ignoring the personalities of their two boys. William longs for acceptance and understanding by his parents: Clive lives in his own world. William is driven to discover the meaning of Clive's strange language and eventually finds clues that lead to the secrets he'd rather not know. A situation occurs that stuns the family, and the story jumps forward to the resolving aftermath of that discovery.

For a bare bones budget film the story is well told and is a compelling one. Ethan Canin reads better on the page than his words convey through the mouths of actors, and at times the result is pretentious dialogue. But the cast is superb and the ending is one that makes the audience stop, think, and want to see the movie again for the clues we missed. Well worth seeing. Grady Harp