It's a great bit of nostalgia about a low income family's struggles in the South around the time of the Vietnam War. There are many things going on. A father who returns from the war disturbed, with lingering emotional problems. White and black children playing and growing together, puzzled by the concept of racism still lingering. A feud with a trashy gang of kids from across town. The desire to move up in the world and find better living conditions. There's heartbreak, suspense, and some comedy. Breathtaking scenes of the rural south where you can almost feel the heat. Characters that seem very real. Elijah Wood is fantastic and his accent sounds authentic. My only complaint is that he was a positively GORGEOUS boy at the time, like a piece of fine art to look at, and they shouldn't have sheared all his beautiful hair off for this role. It's supposed to be 1970, not 1953! Most boys didn't have crew-cuts in 1970! If he'd had hair in this film like he'd had in 'The Adventures of Huck Finn' the camera would've exploded to bits from his physical perfection as well as his flawless performance!