My Own Private Idaho
Freaky Fridays' annual memorial screening of Gus Van Sant's indie classic from 1991 dedicated to actor River Phoenix (August 23, 1970 - October 31, 1993).
"If I had a normal family and a good upbringing then I would have been a well adjusted person," Mike (River Phoenix) plaintively tells Scott (Keanu Reeves) in a rare exchange of awkwardly articulated truths between the two street hustlers from opposite sides of the tracks.
Scott Favor (Reeves) is the son of Portland's mayor. His low-rent Midnight Cowboy phase is no more than a calculated rebellion before he takes up the birthright of social prestige he conveniently keeps in store. Mike's path is less clear; a sensitive, gay, narcoleptic nursing a deep sense of maternal abandonment, Mike's fortunes in life rely far more precariously on the kindness - or otherwise - of all too random strangers.
Udo Kier, James Russo and Grace Zabriskie co-star in a hauntingly rambling road-trip that takes Mike and Scott from the Pacific Northwest to the piazzas of Rome - in a scene that tips its hat to Pasolini - in the search for home.
"An essential testament to the beauty and [acting] chops of the late River Phoenix" - Rolling Stone