Thursday, December 22, 2011

FILM: “Hate Crime” (2005)

Plot Summary: Robbie Levinson (Seth Peterson) and Trey McCoy (Brian J. Smith) are an openly gay couple living in a suburban home near friend and next-door neighbor Kathleen Slansky (Lin Shaye). The 8-year couple plans to hold a commitment ceremony to exchange rings. Trey's mother, Barbara (Cindy Pickett), suggests to Trey, who suggests to Robbie, that the couple consider raising a child. Under pressure, Robbie expresses his wish to "worry about one thing at a time." When Chris Boyd (Chad Donella) arrives next-door with a moving truck with friend Alton Kachim (Luke King), they disgustedly watch Trey kiss a nervous Robbie. Alton annoys Chris with his homophobic jokes, and suggests they "do something about it." Chris makes unprovoked, threatening remarks toward Robbie, telling Robbie he will "go to hell" and warns “watch his back." Chris is a youth pastor and the son of Pastor Boyd (Bruce Davison) who vehemently condemns homosexuality. Chris delivers Robbie his church's pamphlet after Kathleen refuses it and threatens retaliation should Chris get involved. Robbie subsequently learns of the church and Pastor Boyd, who is angered to learn Chris has long estranged his presumed daughter-in-law. While walking his Boston Terrier, Trey is brutally attacked with a baseball bat and is taken to a hospital where Robbie and Trey's parents are told he is hemorrhaging and lies in a coma. Under criminal investigation, the Boyd family conspires to agree on Chris's alibi. Robbie commits to a child, but Trey soon suffers severe brain hemorrhage and dies, having never awakened since the attack. Robbie dons himself and Trey with their commitment rings at Trey's viewing. The investigation is transferred to homicide Detective Esposito (Giancarlo Esposito), who asks Robbie if he killed Trey, pointing out his insurance policy and the fact that Robbie’s were the only set of fingerprints on the bat. Robbie is arrested and given a restraining order for assaulting Chris after a failed attempt to get a surreptitiously tape-recorded confession from Chris. Esposito moves to make a case against him. Robbie enters Chris's home and finds gay porn in his internet bookmarks. Pastor Boyd confronts Chris with a private investigator’s photographs of Chris meeting for anonymous gay sex on multiple occasions, and it is revealed that Chris was on such an outing on the night of the murder. Detective Fisher (Farah White) contacts Alton, who surmises that Chris killed Trey, because he phoned his parents' home and he was not there. Pastor Boyd confronts his son and confesses to murdering Trey. Robbie tape-records Pastor Boyd confessing to the murder and turns the tape over to Esposito. Esposito refuses to move against the pastor and confiscates the tape, but Barbara recovers it. Chris contemplates suicide yet refuses to testify against his father at Robbie's plea, he does however leave his father's gun. Robbie, Kathleen, and Barbara conspire and execute a plan to kill Pastor Boyd in a disguised break-in to retrieve the tape-recording. With Chris's testimony against his dead father, Esposito reluctantly accepts the staged break-in as fact (Wikipedia).

Director: Tommy Stovall
Writer: Tommy Stovall
Cast: Seth Peterson, Bruce Davison, Chad Donella, Brian J. Smith, Cindy Pickett (IMDB).

Accomplishments: 2005 Breckenridge Festival Best Director - Tommy Stovall; 2005 Breckenridge Festival Best Supporting Actor - Chad Donella; 2005 Breckenridge Festival Best Supporting Actress - Lin Shaye; 2005 Dallas Out Takes Audience Award Best Feature Film - Tommy Stovall; 2005 Fort Worth Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature - Tommy Stovall; 2005 Q Award Best Debut Film - Tommy Stovall; 2005 Rhode Island International Film Festival Second Prize Best Feature - Tommy Stovall; 2005 Sedona International Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature - Tommy Stovall; 2005 Director's Choice Award Festival Favorite - Tommy Stovall (Awards for Hate Crime (2005)).

Film Reviews: Some painful, personal issues compelled former Londoner Ebony Tay to make the movie Hate Crime. "Being a woman and a person of colour, I understand what it's like to be the victim of prejudice," says Tay, producer and music composer of the film that will have its Canadian premiere screening at Rainbow Cinemas tomorrow night. "And another strong motivation was my brother-in-law's death," she adds. The brother-in-law is Tay's reference to her gay brother's partner, who committed suicide in Toronto a few years ago. "When this young man announced his sexuality to his family and friends, they all turned on him," she recalls. "He ended up losing his mind and taking his own life. It was an awful tragedy." The horrific impact of intolerance is among the social themes probed in Hate Crime. - Noel Gallagher, Aug 2006 ('Hate Crime' tackles tragedy).


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