Quantcast

Sundance review: "Valentine Road"

Published January 22, 2013 7:56 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"Valentine Road"

U.S. Documentary

*** (three stars)

Director Marta Cunningham gets behind the tabloid headlines of a school shooting, in this remarkable evenhanded documentary. The story: In 2008, California middle-schooler Brandon McInerny shot classmate Lawrence King twice in his head, which ultimately killed him. The motive: King, who was gay, had said "Be my valentine" to McInerny. While the media found a case study in bullying, and McInerny's attorneys try to mount a "gay panic" argument, Cunningham interviews both boys' friends and classmates to find parallel tragedies in bad child-rearing. The movie bends over backwards not to demonize McInerny or beatify King, delivering instead a fair-minded portrait of two children set on a collision course thanks to the failings of adults at every level.

— Sean P. Means

"Valentine Road" screens again: Sunday, 5:30 p.m., The MARC Theatre, Park City; Wednesday, Redstone Cinema 2, Park City; Friday, Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City; Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City.