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Alan & Naomi

Where to Watch Alan & Naomi

PG
1992

Alan & Naomi is a touching drama film set in the early 1940s in New York City. Based on the novel by Myron Levoy, this movie tells the story of Alan Silverman (played by Lukas Haas), a 12-year-old boy who is struggling to recover from the trauma of witnessing his father's death while they were on vacation. Alan suffers from severe anxiety, night terrors, and is mostly withdrawn from the world around him, impacting his education and social life. On the recommendation of his school counselor, he visits Dr. Fornier (played by Michael Gross), a therapist, who tries to help him come out of his shell.

As Alan's treatment progresses, he meets Naomi Kirschenbaum (played by Vanessa Zaoui), a young girl who recently fled from Austria with her family, after her father was taken by the Nazis, and they lost everything in the Anschluss. Naomi's family has also just moved into Alan's apartment building, and they soon strike up a friendship based on their shared experiences and a mutual interest in art. As they spend more time together, Naomi's cheerful personality and resilience begin to rub off on Alan, and he slowly starts to make progress in getting over his fears.

However, their happiness is short-lived as Naomi's mother is still coming to terms with their situation, and her overprotectiveness often causes conflicts between her and Naomi. Meanwhile, Alan's mother, Ruth (played by Amy Aquino), is struggling to come to terms with her husband's death and her son's condition, and her relationship with Alan is strained. Despite their difficulties, Alan and Naomi keep each other company and support each other through their hardships. They also get involved in a mysterious art project, which serves as a means of expressing their fears and hopes.

The film explores themes of loss, trauma, recovery, and friendship in a tender and sensitive way, giving viewers a glimpse into the lives of two children facing adversity and trying to find their footing in a world that is hostile and unpredictable. The performances by the actors are touching and believable, particularly that of Zaoui, who shines as the lively and spirited Naomi. Haas is also impressive in his portrayal of an emotionally vulnerable and troubled child, conveying the pain and confusion of his character with subtlety and depth. The supporting cast, including Gross and Aquino, ably support the leads, bringing depth and nuance to their characters.

The cinematography of the film is noteworthy, capturing the mood and the setting of the story with a muted color palette and somber lighting that contrast well with the moments of lightness and hope. The direction by Sterling Van Wagenen is sensitive and restrained, allowing the characters and the story to unfold without manipulation or sentimentality. The film's musical score, composed by James Horner, is also memorable, providing the perfect accompaniment to the film's emotional beats.

In conclusion, Alan & Naomi is a must-watch for anyone who loves touching and poignant films that deal with the human condition with respect and authenticity. It is a story that will stay with you long after the credits roll, leaving you with a sense of hope and empathy for the characters and their struggles. Despite its age, the film still holds up today and remains relevant in a world where many children continue to suffer from trauma and displacement.

Alan & Naomi is a Drama, Kids & Family movie released in 1992. It has a runtime of 96 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7..

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6.7/10
Director
Sterling Van Wagenen
Stars
Lukas Haas, Vanessa Zaoui
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