Tenderness

2009

Crime / Drama

4
IMDb Rating 5.5

Synopsis


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1.92G
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English
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101 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.22G
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English
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101 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FightOwensFight 7

&#39;Tenderness&#39; was first recommended to me by a close friend who I normally trust as far as judgment in film. However, when I learned the director, John Polson, was responsible for such films as &#39;Swimfan&#39; and &#39;Hide &amp; Seek&#39;, I had my doubts... As the movie progressed I found myself reassured by some emotionally provoking cinematography, strong performances, and an intriguing story. This film obviously is not comparable to Polson&#39;s previous flawed films. No, &#39;Tenderness&#39; is actually substantial proof that Polson does have some talent in his bones after all.<br/><br/>After several years of juvenile incarceration for the horrific murders of his parents, Eric Poole (Jon Foster) is released back into the world amidst much controversy. While dealing with his wife&#39;s terminal condition, Retired Detective Cristofuoro (Russell Crowe) keeps close watch on Eric after his release waiting for him to slip up. Shortly after returning to his Aunt&#39;s home, Eric sets off to Albany to look at colleges. Suspecting that there is more to the trip that Eric is letting on, Eric&#39;s Aunt Teresa (Laura Dern) notifies the Detective of the trip. Fueled by an obsession by a seemingly chance encounter with Eric before the murders, a young and immature teen, Lori (Sophie Traub), forces a second encounter and finds herself accompanying Eric on his journey all while both searching for their own version of tenderness.<br/><br/>While it&#39;s no secret that this is not a perfect film, there is something to be said about this adaptation of Robert Cormier&#39;s novel. Instead of drawing from high suspense of the occurring events and without spelling everything out for the audience like most American films, Australian director Polson focuses on studying the film&#39;s characters. Though the characterization is a worthy effort, I still felt that the full potential of each character&#39;s depth was not explored. As long as you can get past Polson&#39;s earlier work and view the film with an open mind, you should be able to enjoy &#39;Tenderness&#39; for as much as I did.

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Reviewed by wes-connors 6

Convicted as a juvenile, handsome young Jon Foster (as Eric Komenko) gets out of jail free, despite being a psychopathic killer. Lonely and abused teenager Sophie Traub (as Lorelei &quot;Lori&quot; Cranston) has become infatuated with Mr. Foster, and has been keeping a scrapbook on him. She decides to join Foster on a trip to look at colleges in upstate New York, by stowing away in the back seat of his car. Foster, who is also looking to keep a sex date with another female admirer, wants to get rid of Ms. Traub. But, as they travel, Foster becomes attached to Traub. Then, he learns she witnessed a crime... <br/><br/>Meanwhile, police lieutenant Russell Crowe (as John Cristofuoro) follows the young couple. After helping put Foster in the pokey, Mr. Crowe developed a strange bond with the young killer. Crowe thinks Foster will kill again... <br/><br/>&quot;Tenderness&quot; starts out by having you think it&#39;s going somewhere else. It also toys around with eroticism. But, the film is really more like a character study. Foster is a psychopathic killer who Crowe feels is apt to kill again, with vulnerable underage Traub the likely victim. Walking off with the best-written role, Traub actually provides Foster with some measure of salvation. The film is subtly acted and directed, looks great for the price, but stops short of excellence. The character played by Crowe is not drawn well into events; he and his invalid wife are far too detached from the main characters.<br/><br/>****** Tenderness (1/15/09) John Polson ~ Jon Foster, Sophie Traub, Russell Crowe, Laura Dern

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Reviewed by gradyharp 7

Director John Polson is now well known as frequent director on television series such as &#39;Elementary&#39;, &#39;Blue Bloods&#39;, &#39;The Mentalist&#39;, &#39;The Good Wife&#39;, &#39; Without a Trace&#39; etc. TENDERNESS is an early effort (2009) but the singe is evident. This little film slipped by everyone despite a strong cast – likely because the subject matter is rather difficult to swallow, especially as related by the time flips the picture takes in explaining the story.<br/><br/>Buffalo detective Lt. Cristofuoro (Russell Crowe), whose catatonic wife is in hospital, takes a special interest in Eric Komenko (an excellent Jon Foster!), a juvenile who killed his parents and will be freed on his 18th birthday. So has Lori Cranston (Sophie Traub), 15 or 16, her body fully developed and the object of lust by her boss and her mother&#39;s new boyfriend. She keeps a scrapbook about Eric, and when he&#39;s released from custody, she hides in the backseat of his car, insisting he take her with him on a trip toward Albany where he&#39;s planning to meet a girl. Cristofuoro is certain Eric will kill again, visits Eric&#39;s dead mother&#39;s sister Aunt Teresa (Laura Dern, excellent) with whom he lives since his release from Juvenile Hall, agrees with Cristofuoro&#39;s intuition and encourages him to pursue Eric in Albany. What happens on the trip to Albany – the disintegration of Eric&#39;s fragile sociopathic psyche and Lori&#39;s obsession with Eric&#39;s none too subtle need to kill leads to a surprising end. It is a film that deals with compulsions on every level and in every character – especially a self- destructive teen obsessed with a murderer, a young man obsessed with killing girls, and a weary detective obsessed with keeping the young man behind bars.<br/><br/>Jon Foster is the center of attention in the story and is supported the excellent work of Russell Crowe and Laura Dern. The supporting cast is strong. Serial killers continue to make an impact on writers, but this story takes a deeper look into the psyche of the main character, if not by words then more by body language.

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