April 19, 2005 - by mulder42
David Duchovny's writing and directorial debut film, House of D, is a story of a boy wishing to become a man much too quickly. Twelve (soon to be 13) -year old Tommy Warshaw (Anton Yelchin) lives with his mother (Téa Leoni), recently widowed, in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood in 1973. He helps his best friend Pappass (Robin Williams), who is mentally retarded, deliver meat on an old rickety bicycle. They get along just fine, playing stickball after school with his friends, until he starts to have feelings for a girl from another school, Melissa (Zelda Williams).
One day, while he's burying his tips from meat delivering (so Pappass' father won't steal it) at the Women's House of Detention, a prison right in the middle of the city, an inmate (Erykah Badu) strikes up a conversation with him. And so begins an odd sort of relationship, with Tommy on the ground, and "Lady" up above, behind bars, with a jagged piece of mirror the only way she can see him. Technically, her character could be considered a cliché, but she gives Tommy sound advice, while his mom pops pills at home, hoping to zone out in her grief.
Pappass, noticing that he may be soon losing his best friend, does something drastic, and Tommy takes the blame for him. And then his mother takes one too many pills and winds up in the hospital in a coma. With the walls closing in on him, he goes to see his unseen friend Lady at the House of D. Knowing that the boy will go into a downward spiral if she doesn't talk some sense into him, tells a lie about herself in order for Tommy to "be free." And so Tommy leaves New York, Pappass and Melissa, and heads to Paris, France, where he becomes an artist, living in a self-imposed exile. Thirty years later, with a wife (Magali Amadei) and a 13-year-old son (Harold Cartier) of his own, he tells them the story of his life when he was younger.
Knowing that he'll never go forward with them if he doesn't confront his past, Thomas' wife tells him he must go back to New York to face his demons. And so he goes back to the United States, finds Lady (real name Bernadette) and Pappass, and begins to start a new life with his family.
House of D will make you laugh, cry, and think about life. Even if you're not a Duchovny fan, give the film a try, and you might like it. There was a nice X-Files-ish moment when Thomas was at Bernadette's apartment building. When he got outside, Lady called him back from her window, and that was the first time he saw her face. They talked a little bit, and Thomas started to cry, raising his hands in the air, kind of like when Mulder did in ONE BREATH. Anton & Erykah give fantastic performances without actually being in the same scenes together.
You've probably read a bunch of negative reviews for this film, but the film the critics' saw is not the one I did. Go see it with an open mind, and come to your own conclusions. If you still don't like it, at least you weren't swayed by someone that gets paid to watch flicks for a living.
I think House of D is a phenomenal film. For David's first movie, he can only get better. He has a true talent that should be shared with the world. All I can do is tell you to go see it, and tell people you did. My rating: A+, 10, 4 stars, thumbs up--all that good stuff...
As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving
House of D
Tommy Warshaw: Anton Yelchin
You never know who your angel's gonna be