Winner of the 2011 Outfest Grand Jury Awards for both US Dramatic Feature Film and Outstanding Screenwriting, The Wise Kids is a character-driven coming-of-age story set in a Baptist church community in Charleston, South Carolina. Graduating seniors Tim, Brea, and Laura find themselves in that transitional space where life seems to be nothing but questions without answers and the future is scarily wide open.
Director Stephen Cone, the son of a Southern Baptist minister, makes his professional home in Chicago. He shot The Wise Kids in his original hometown of Charleston with actors from the South and Midwest. The gifted young actors playing the three friends at the center of the film’s plot were cast in Chicago. Actress Molly Kunz, a Madison native, plays Brea; Allison Torem and Tyler Ross, already veterans of the dynamic Chicago theatre scene, play Laura and Tim.
A New York Times Critic’s Pick, The Wise Kids is, as reviewer Stephen Holden writes, “a touching, low-key drama with no axes to grind.” The film is “unfailingly kind to its characters,” without a “note of satire or sarcasm or any warning of hellfire and damnation.” The stakes for each character are high, but they’re neither apocalyptic nor melodramatic. Just genuine and heartfelt.
For more reviews, articles, and interviews, check out the film’s official website.