In the summer of 1960, young Bobby Garfield (Anton Yelchin) is sharing adventures with his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully (Will Rothhaar) when an enigmatic lodger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) rents a room in his family\'s boarding house. Soon, Bobby learns that Ted possesses supernatural gifts, has a haunted past, and is being pursued by sinister men whose intentions are unclear.
 

3.5
Hicks evokes the period with great skill.

Bobby Garfield, David Morse, returns to the small town where he spent his childhood to attend the funeral of his former best friend. The return home triggers memories of the summer of 1960, when he lived with his widowed mother, Liz, Hope Davis, and felt the first stirrings of attraction towards Carol, Mika Boreem. Young Bobby, Anton Yelchin, also befriends the rather mysterious lodger who`s taken a room upstairs - Ted Brautigan, Anthony Hopkins, seems to be in hiding or on the run from something - but he`s a wise and kindly man, and he and Bobby become close.

Adapted by William Goldman from a Stephen King short story, this beautifully made film has some connections to Stand By Me, also based on a King story, and also a childhood reminiscence. The film, sensitively directed by Australian Scott Hicks, really centres on the friendship between the learned yet secretive man, played with his usual polish by Anthony Hopkins, and the lonely boy eager for a glimpse of the world outside, Anton Yelchin is excellent in this role. The relationship is at times a but like that between Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, though the recent film Finding Forester also tackled a similar theme. Hicks just about skirts the sentimentality lurking beneath the surface of Goldman`s screenplay, and he evokes the period with great skill.