Leo (2002) - Synopsis
Two wounded characters facing life on their own find their magical relationship gives them the strength to heal and the power to hope.
Lushly photographed and rich with nuanced performances, LEOPOLD tells the story of a man and the lives he changes on his arduous journey toward redemption. For a class assignment, Leo, a troubled young boy, begins writing to Stephen, a convicted felon. Alternation between Leo's childhood thirty years ago and Stephen's life today, the tension builds until the secret of their mystical connection breaks out.
Academy award - nominee Elisabeth Shue stars as Mary Bloom, a woman haunted by her tragic past. Under the mistaken belief that her husband had betrayed her, Mary begins a tawdry affair with a handsome young handyman (Justin Chambers) and becomes pregnant. After her husband is killed in a car crash, Mary descends into despair and grows to hate the boy she bears: Leopold Bloom.
Eleven years later, Leo grows to be a quiet and withdrawn child. For comfort, he turns to his books and his regular correspondence with an anonymous convict. When he grows up, his mother's remarriage to a violent man drives Leo to murder. Trying to protect his mother, Leo kills his stepfather. His own mother's testimony convicts him.
Meanwhile, Stephen (Joseph Fiennes) is serving time and answers Leo's letters. When he gets out of jail, two co-workers, Vic (Academy Award - nominee Sam Shepard) and Caroline (Deborah Unger) try to help him establish himself, but Horace (Academy Award - nominee Dennis Hopper), a local alcoholic, brutalizes him into submission. Stephen yearns to atone for his crime and relies on his communication with young Leo to exorcise his demons. Soon he embarks on a journey to meet the boy whose words were his ultimate lifeline.