Smoke Signals ★★ 1998 (PG-13)
Serious themes are treated in a deceptively simple and humorous manner, based on stories from Alexie's book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” Geeky, orphaned Thomas (Adams) lives on the Coeur d'Alene reservation in Idaho where he's reluctantly looked after by stoic Victor (Beach), whose long-gone father Arnold (Farmer) saved Thomas from the fire that killed his parents. When Victor learns of Arnold's death in Phoenix, Thomas says he'll pay the expenses of the trip if he can accompany Victor. The young men reach an understanding during their travels, while Victor struggles to deal with his complicated feelings about his father and the past. 88m/C VHS, DVD . Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer, Tantoo Cardinal, Michelle St. John, Robert Miano, Molly Cheek, Elaine Miles, Michael Greyeyes, Chief Leonard George, John Trudell, Tom Skerritt, Cody Lightning, Cynthia Geary, Simon Baker; D: Chris Eyre; W: Sherman Alexie; C: Brian Capener; M: B.C. Smith. Ind. Spirit '99: Debut Perf. (Adams); Sundance '98: Aud. Award, Filmmakers Trophy.