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Billy the Kid

A charmer
By GERALD PEARY  |  January 23, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars

Holden Caulfield — idiosyncratically articulate, yearning for love and connection, his sensitivity on his sleeve — has a kindred spirit in the 15-year-old Lisbon Falls (Maine) high-school sophomore whose story is told in Jennifer Venditti’s endearing documentary. Learned Boston doctors wanted to institutionalize Billy when he was an out-of-control child. His brave mother held out, and now, years later, Billy is attending regular school, though he’s a self-proclaimed “lonely soul,” as the “normal” kids are put off by his odd manner and his uncontrolled blabbing about heavy metal, slasher movies, and books concerning the early lives of future serial killers. But in an age of sullen, grunting, uncommunicative teenagers, the open-book Billy is a charmer, a treat to watch on camera, and audiences can’t help but root for him when he discovers majestic first love in the person of a half-blind, perhaps dimwitted, 16-year-old local gal. As Billy describes Heather, “Her eyes are like onyx glistening in the sun.” 84 minutes | Coolidge Corner
  Topics: Reviews , Billy the Kid, Jennifer Venditti
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