HEARTS IN ATLANTIS
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The movie begins as we see a package being delivered to a photographer played by David Morse. Inside is an old baseball mitt. His childhood friend has just died and left him this mitt in his will.
He goes to the funeral and discovers that another of his childhood friends, Carol, with whom he experienced his first kiss, has also died years earlier. He visits the old house he once lived in which is now an abandoned building, fenced off with no trespassing signs on it. The memories start coming and we are taken back to the summer of 1960 when he just turned 11.
For his birthday, all his mother could afford was an "adult" library card. Bobby really wanted a bike but his mother just couldn't afford it and reminded him once again of the desperate financial crisis his father left them in when he died 5 years earlier. All his mother can talk about was what a loser his father was and how he gambled away everything he ever earned and died with no insurance. Funny thing though, Bobby's mother always has money to buy herself nice clothes.
One day Anthony Hopkins moves into the apartment upstairs.
He pays Bobby a dollar a week just to read the paper to him. Hopkins and Bobby spend a lot of time together and develop quite a friendship. Hopkins gives him advice about such things as what books to read, first kisses and getting along with his mother. One night Hopkins tells him an incredible story about how an old football player, Bronco Nagurski came out of retirement and carried the entire team on his back as he crawled his way to a touchdown, leading the Chicago Cardinals to the championship.
Eventually, Bobby realizes that Hopkins has a strange gift. Not only can he see the future but he can read peoples minds. He even passes along some of these talents to Bobby who impresses everyone at a card game at the local fair.
The most important thing Hopkins tells Bobby is, watch out for the "Low Men." These are men who drive fancy cars, wear hats, and travel in packs, putting up strange notices such as lost pets. These men are after Hopkins and Bobby must tell him immediately if he sees anything like this happening.
Bobby starts seeing these people around town and notices flyers everywhere, but doesn't want to tell Hopkins because he knows it will force him to leave.
One day Bobby's mother announces that she's going on a weekend business trip with her boss for a real estate convention. Hopkins agrees to watch Bobby for the weekend.
When she leaves, Hopkins takes Bobby downtown to a seedy bar where he makes a bet on a huge prize fight happening the next day. While at the bar, Bobby meets a waitress who knew his father and tells him how everyone loved him and that he always walked out of there a winner.
The next night, the underdog fighter that Hopkins bet on wins and Hopkin's bet earns him $2000. Hopkins explains to Bobby that it's traveling money and he will be leaving when Bobby's mother returns. Hopkins has also noticed the Low Men in town.
Meanwhile, at the real estate convention, Bobby's mother is raped by her boss.
On the day that she is to return (and that Hopkins is to leave), Hopkins tells Bobby that he needs to go tell Carol good-bye for him and that he should find her NOW! Bobby runs to find Carol but she has just been beaten up by the older kid that had picked on her and Bobby throughout the movie. she is beaten up pretty badly and Bobby carries her on his back all the way home to Hopkins, (just like Bronco Nagurski).
They lay her out on the couch and Hopkins feels her arm. She lowers her shirt so he can see her shoulder and Hopkins tells her a story about pain and he repositions her shoulder, making the pain go away.
Just then Bobby's mother walks in and sees Hopkins leaning over Carol with her shirt down. Having just been raped she screams at Hopkins to get off her and begins to call the police. Hopkins explains that what happened to the mother didn't happen to Carol. She demands Hopkins to pack up and leave.
Hopkins must first go back to the bar and collect his winnings. Bobby's mother hears this and calls the Low Men and lets them know where Hopkins will be.
Bobby tells Hopkins to wait at the nearby diner and Bobby will collect the money for him. That night, Bobby sneaks out of the house and heads to the bar. There are Low Men everywhere, traveling in packs, just like Hopkins told him they would be. Bobby collects the money but when he gets outside he sees Hopkins being driven away by the Low Men.
When Bobby gets home, his mother is furious with him. What are they going to do now she asks, having just lost her job. Bobby throws the $2000 at her.
The two of them talk things through with Bobby telling her what he learned about his dad and she will try not to be so selfish. Eventually she gets a job in Boston and as they are driving away, we see a new bike on the roof of their car.
We cut back to the present, back at the abandoned old house. A young girl shouts out to the now grown up Bobby (Morse) that he better get away from there. Bobby looks at her and instantly knows that it must be Carol's daughter. She also realizes that he is the man her mom always talked about. "She said you were beautiful" the girl tells Bobby. He tells her "well, one of was" and he reaches in his wallet and gives the girl a picture of her mother when she was her age.
We learn that Bobby never did see Hopkins again nor did he ever posses his special gift again. The one gift Hopkins did leave him was the ability to open his eyes and to see life differently.
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