November 06, 2006 12:00 PM

HBO (Oct. 30, 9 p.m. ET)


Shot with unemphatic documentary plainness, Angel Rodriguez is a deceptively simple but powerful story about human possibility. Angel (Jonan Everett) is a 17-year-old dumped in limbo when his father throws him out—mostly because of tensions with the father’s girlfriend. His counselor (Rachel Griffiths) tries to encourage him to keep his eye on the future—he’s good with computers—even after he steals from her. The suspense here comes from the fact that Angel presents a blank face to the world. We can never guess whether he’ll make the right decisions. In one awful moment it even seems possible he’ll commit a murder. Griffiths, on the other hand, conveys the counselor’s thoughts with a quicksilver gravity. It’s a small but beautiful performance.

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