Matthew Lickona 8 p.m., Dec. 17
The Lesser Blessed
Another cobblestone in the well-intentioned path to cinema hell. This earnest and grievously routine outcast-comes-of-age drama tells the tale of a taciturn Aboriginal burn victim (Joel Evans), smitten by the prettiest girl in school (Chloe Rose) and taunted with cigarette lighters by the home room bully (Adam Butcher). Things quickly change when sympathetic class strongman (Kiowa Gordon) takes up our hero’s cause. Director Anita Doron sticks closely to the formula put forth in My Bodyguard, until drugs, teen pregnancy, and a few darker shades of senseless brutality enter the picture to give the film its forced, postcontemporary Lifetime Channel vibe. Cinematographer Brendan Steacy’s jiggly-cam coverage would better suit a ping-pong match between seizure victims. Nothing you haven’t seen before and plenty of it! With Benjamin Bratt and Tamara Podemski as the stock bewildered parental figures. 2012.
- Rated R | 1 hour, 26 minutes
- View trailer