My Own Private Idaho
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Very loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV & V, Gus Van Sant directed this haunting tale of two drifters. Mike and Scott embark on a journey to find Mike’s mother, taking them from Idaho to Portland to Italy. Mike, a narcoleptic gay hustler (played by the mesmerizing River Phoenix) is in love with his best friend, another hustler named Scott (Keanu Reeves) who will inherit a family fortune when he turns 21. Convinced that Scott will stay with him even after the inheritance, Mike is shattered when Scott falls in love with a young Italian girl. One of the most unusual modern adaptations of Shakespeare, Phoenix’s achingly vulnerable performance elevates the film to a sublime meditation on the desire for home.