The Planet of Junior Brown (1997)
Director: Clement Virgo
Based on the book: Junior’s Groove by Virginia Hamilton
Starring: Martin Villafana, Rainbow Sun Francks, Sarah Polley, Lynn Whitfield, Margot Kidder, Clark Johnson
Number 9 in Bridey’s Top Fifty
BUD: Hard to believe this is a Canadian movie.
BRIDEY: This is not a Canadian movie.
BRIDEY: Who are those folks keeps pulling up and talking to them homeless kids?
BUD: Army recruiters. Look at them kids all holed up in that old church. I must say it looks cosy. Cosy, like having afternoon tea and listening to Chopin whilst the lobster fishermen is rioting outside your dooryard…
BRIDEY: If we kicked Bud Junior out do you spose he’d go down and live to the church?
BUD: Father O’Shamelessly wouldn’t know whether t’ kick his arse or welcome him back to the flock.
BRIDEY: First’d come the welcoming, then the arse-kicking.
BUD: I like this kid. His ma’s a little cracked though if you ask me.
BRIDEY: She’s doing the best she can. She’s not in the best situation.
BUD: This movie puts me in mind of”?nothing! I’ve never seen the likes of it.
BRIDEY: It’s all about somebody else coming along and pulling your brake cord, ain’t it? Junior Brown had his brake pulled for playing piano. He had his brake pulled for drawing pictures of bare nekkids. They pull his brakes for wanting to learn instead of having to go to school.
BUD: I was sick to the heart for having to go to school.
BRIDEY: I suppose having to keep going back with the other kids getting smaller than what you was every year…
BUD: That was the easy part.
BRIDEY: Look! Now he’s having his brake pulled for wanting to have a good meal onct in a while.
BUD: Now that I can see. Look at the boy”?he’s big as a planet! Let him live off the fat of the land!
BRIDEY: Maybe it’s his glands. Either way he don’t deserve to starve. And neither do I. Here, let me have some of them french fries.
BUD: What’s this in your top fifty?
BRIDEY: Number nine. Right in between Smoke Signals and Fiddler on the Roof.
BUD: Do I see a pattern here?
BRIDEY: The lost, the fatherless, the disenfranchised”?
BUD: Speakin’ of these ol’ french fries, how’s about handing ’em back?
Bud and Bridey only watch old movies. If you’re looking for reviews of more recent films, let the Voice editor know, or inquire about writing for The Voice.
By Wanda Waterman St. Louis, with Steven St. Louis.