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Fresh Movie Review

esposito nelson jackson lamarre

Twelve-year-old “Fresh” (Sean Nelson) is a New York drug runner, working for heroin dealer Esteban (Giancarlo Esposito) while living with his Aunt Frances (Cheryl Freeman) and his many female cousins. He isn't supposed to see his down-and-out dad Sam (Samuel L. Jackson), but does so anyway, and learns how to play speed chess with him. Chess, the ultimate war game, gives Fresh a strategy for survival when he becomes an eyewitness to two murders committed by a terrifying crack dealer named Jake (Jean LaMarre). Boaz Yakin gives us a bleak view of childhood and brings out outstanding performances from veterans Esposito and Jackson, and also from young Nelson and LaMarre. And the well-developed chess angle provides Fresh with a fascinating, if cynical resolution.

1994 (R) 114m/C FR Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, Sean Nelson, N'Bushe Wright, Ron Brice, Jean LaMarre, Luis Lantigua, Yul Vazquez, Cheryl Freeman; D: Boaz Yakin; W: Boaz Yakin; C: Adam Holender. Independent Spirit Awards ‘95: Debut Performance (Nelson); Sundance Film Festival ‘94: Special Jury Prize, Filmmakers Trophy; Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘95: Best Supporting Actor (Esposito). VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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