My Own Private Idaho

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My Own Private Idaho ★★★ 1991 (R)

Director Van Sant of “Drugstore Cowboy” returns to the underworld to examine another group of outsiders, this time young, homosexual hustlers. On the streets of Seattle, narcoleptic hustler Mike meets slumming rich boy Scott, and together they begin a search for Mike's lost mother, which leads them to Idaho and Italy. Stunning visuals, an elliptical plot, and a terrific performance by Phoenix highlight this search for love, the meaning of life, and power. Van Sant couples these activities with scenes from Shakespeare's “Henry IV” for a sometimes inscrutable, but always memorable film. Look for director Richert's Falstaff role as an aging chickenhawk. 105m/C VHS, DVD . River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert, Rodney Harvey, Michael Parker, Flea, Chiara Caselli, Udo Kier, Grace Zabriskie, Tom Troupe; D: Gus Van Sant; W: Gus Van Sant; C: John Campbell, Eric Alan Edwards. Ind. Spirit ‘92: Actor (Phoenix), Screenplay; Natl. Soc. Film Critics ‘91: Actor (Phoenix).