Hearts in Atlantis

Director:Scott Hicks
Writer:William Goldman
Warner Bros.; PG-13; 101 minutes
Cast:Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis

Hearts in Atlantis is the latest in a long line of Stephen King TV and film adaptations. Screenwriter William Goldman (The Princess Bride) brings the King vignettes to life, or at least a highly sweetened, somewhat flattened version of them.

The movie is told via flashback. Bobby Garfield (Anton Yelchin) remembers a crucial year in his childhood—summer of the first kiss, summer of the oddly generous upstairs lodger (Anthony Hopkins) with psychic abilities. Hopkins's character is pursued by loosely explained “low men” whose modus operandi is enough to confuse even X-Files aficionados (think trench coats, nice cars, and missing pet posters).

Director Scott Hicks brings the same vivid, moody rendering to Hearts in Atlantis as he did with Snow Falling on Cedars. This technique, in an aphoristic coming-of-age story swaddled in the paranormal and nostalgia, is hard to swallow.