The gentle seriocomedy That's What I Am
stars Chase Ellison
as Andy Nichol, a 12-year-old middle schooler coming of age in California during the mid-'60s. Though exceptionally intelligent, Andy is also shy and backward -- a social outcast among his schoolmates -- and will do virtually anything to avoid ridicule and ostracism. Andy's perspective changes, however, after a popular teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris
), pairs him up on a school project with an even bigger pariah than he is: Stanley (Alexander Walters), also known as "Big G" -- an awkward boy with thick orange hair, a head that's much too big for his frame, and oversized ears. Both boys find the partnership odd, but learn in time that Mr. Simon has something very definite in mind for them.