A fateful meeting on the University of Akron football field by college freshmen Benny (Matthew Frias) and Christopher (Edmund Donovan) leads to a commingling that doesn’t face opposition from families or friends. The bucolic midwestern setting seems not just accepting, but forgiving. The naturalistic acting is genial to a fault. So where’s the drama in the romance of Brian O’Donnell and Sasha King’s sweet, lovingly shot, achingly paced “Akron”? A secret they share, unbeknownst, which goes much farther than awkwardness (which O’Donnell’s screenplay reveals from the get-go). Small and ambitious, “Akron” is seldom tidy and never less than generous. 88m. (Ray Pride)
“Akron” opens Friday, September 9 at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.