King of the Hill
Our next Rialto Recommends is a film that we have been wanting to recommend for months but wasn't available on any streaming service. Fortunately, Steven Soderbergh's 1993 film KING OF THE HILL based on A.E. Hotchner's memoir is now available for viewing on The Criterion Channel. Aaron (Jesse Bradford), a young boy living in St. Louis during the 1930s, has a deep attachment to his younger brother. After his father (Jeroen Krabbé) leaves them and his mother (Lisa Eichhorn) departs for an asylum, he promises to retrieve his brother from their uncle's custody. In the meantime, he must fend for himself among townspeople and the tenants in the hotel where he lives. Forced to come of age alone, Aaron shifts between the harsh real world and the dream world he creates to cope. A subtle, affecting, character-driven coming-of-age story, KING OF THE HILL is one of Steven Soderbergh's best and most criminally overlooked films. Roger Ebert said "With the kind of material you'd never dream of associating with him, Soderbergh has made his best film." And Entertainment Weekly said "This story of a 12-year-old boy who drops through the net of middle-class life invites us-in each shimmering frame-to gaze upon the world with a child's freshly awakening vision." You probably missed this one when it was briefly in theatres in August, 1993. We are grateful to the Criterion Collection for preserving this wonderful film which we hope you will enjoy.