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Mask Reviews

MASK is a true story about a young man with an incurable ailment, "lionitis" or craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, which causes calcium to amass in the head and make it balloon to twice its normal size. Rocky (Eric Stoltz) is the 16-year-old son of Rusty Dennis (Cher), a biker lady who is given to loose morals and controlled substances. Mother and son live in a poor but clean Los Angeles neighborhood where she hangs out with Gar (Sam Elliott) and several other bikers. Rocky is a remarkably radiant young man, cheerful, friendly, able to cope with his painful and life-threatening disease. He has three goals in what he knows will be a short life: he wants to meet a girl who will fall in love with him despite his ugliness, he wants to ride a motorcycle around Europe, and he wants to see his mother kick her drug habit. Rocky manages to deal with his problem, but his pain and suffering cause Rusty to turn to drugs as she becomes increasingly morose. Stoltz's performance is amazing, with the young actor able to show emotion only with his eyes because makeup covers the rest of his face. The makeup by Zoltan Elek and Michael Westmore received an Oscar. The movie is a bit too slick and deliberately sentimental, almost shamelessly so, which removes a great deal of the power of the story. MASK is a good movie that could have been a great one with a little more restraint.