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The Battle of Shaker Heights

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Original title
The Battle of Shaker Heights
Running time
79 min.
United States United States
Erica Beeney
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Miramax. Producer: Ben Affleck
Comedy | Teen/coming-of-age
Synopsis / Plot
With a team of strong actors, a hilarious script by Erica Beeney, and an evocative soundtrack, directing duo Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin have hit the nail on the head with THE BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS. A clever and wonderfully nostalgic coming-of-age movie that does not fail to entertain, it achieves something close to Wes Anderson's brilliant RUSHMORE. Kelly Ernswiler (Shia LaBeouf) is a 17-year-old expert in the art of war, uncomfortable in his own skin except for those shining moments when he is reenacting historic battles or viciously critiquing his poor history teacher for a watered-down understanding of Gettysburg. Kelly is a bundle of thwarted ideas and insights that he chalks up to living with his artist Mom (Kathleen Quinlan), who is short on homemaking skills, and recovering drug addict father (William Sadler), who occasionally invites the local homeless to sleep on their couch. When Kelly becomes the target of a school bully (Billy Kay), his rich-kid friend Bart (Elden Henson) helps him wage a grand-scale counterattack. Even more trouble bubbles up when Kelly develops an inappropriate and obstinate infatuation with Bart's Yale grad-school sister Tabby (Amy Smart). A product of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Project Greenlight, BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS is a unique success due to Potelle's graceful teetering between smart-ass exterior and inner fragility.
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