What do you do when you have a child that is a genius and no way to further his education? If you are a down on your luck single mom with a lot of love in your heart? Do you give your child what is best for him or do you cling to him because you love him so?
This is the dilemma facing DeDe Tate (Jodie Foster) and her child Fred (Adam Hann-Byrd). A beautiful love story showing just what sacrifices a parent must make for her child.
Fred is consumed with talent, and only 7 years old. Gifted at art, music and math - DeDe turns to a child psychologist, Jane Grierson (Dianne Wiest), that can offer him a well rounded education, a home and she hopes, love. Grierson attempts to step into DeDe's shoes but of course her main consideration is furthering his intellect, not his spirit.
Torn between these two world, Fred becomes a pawn in a no-winner game. Desperately needing his mother, her love and guidance, and also seeking his thirst for knowledge - a heavy hand to deal one so young. Further complications arise as Grierson and DeDe butt heads often regarding Fred and the type of upbringing he is receiving.
Eventually all three meld into a relationship that is both loving and caring and also offers the guidance needed to further the development of this gifted child.
Adam was a wonderful choice for Fred. His wide-eyed and trusting face make you long for his spirit. Wiest was perfect as the power loving control freak and Foster, well what can you say? It seems no matter what role is tossed her way she adapts to it, improves on it and carries it through to glory. This was her debut as director and a vehicle for her talent.
Seven-year-old genius Fred is desperate to fit in with other kids. Recognizing his talents, his mom (and best friend) Dede enrolls him in a school for gifted children, where Fred befriends a teacher who offers him opportunities his mother cannot. Dede must choose between possibly losing her son or compromising his education.