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'Fat Kid Rules the World'

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Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Fat Kid Rules the World

Narrative Spotlight
D: Matthew Lillard; with Billy Campbell, Jacob Wysocki, Matt O'Leary

This feature-length adaptation of K.L. Going's young-adult novel follows the exploits of Troy Billings (Wysocki), a lumpen, suicidal, mother-lost teenager who finds an unlikely friend in Marcus (O'Leary), a homeless, drug-addicted punk musician. In his directing debut, actor Matthew Lillard (The Descendants, Scream) treats his characters with utmost compassion: Troy compulsively overeats not to make himself the butt of lazy fat kid jokes, but to subtly demonstrate that he medicates himself with food. Troy's father, played with touching nuance and empathy by Billy Campbell (most recently of AMC's The Killing), is a rarity in the YA world: a parent who functions not as a foil or buffoon, but as a deeply loving, well-intentioned dad who is doing the best he can with the tools available to him. Lillard's careful handling of the story of two boys messily navigating the mosh pit of late childhood is a love note to fat kids everywhere.


Saturday, March 17, 2pm, Alamo Lamar

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