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Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that ...
- Jodie Foster
- Orion Pictures
Uneducated working class Dede Tate is the loving single mom to now seven year old Fred Tate, the two who live in a small inner city apartment. Dede has known since Fred was an infant that he is gifted, even more so than the most exceptional of children. His gifts, which are in the sciences and creative arts, are largely intuitive. Because so, he is a sensitive human, who internalizes many of his feelings, and who has ulcers in part because he worries about the world's problems. But more than anything, Fred wants to have friends, which he doesn't have at his inner city public school because he is considered different. Dede understands this, and although she does indulge some of his intellectual pursuits, she wants him to be like a "normal" kid. Their lives change when Fred comes to the attention of Jane Grierson of the Grierson Institute, a school for exceptional children. Jane was considered an exceptional child herself. Jane wants Fred to enroll in the Institute and after she gets to know him better wants to take him under her personal wing. But taking Fred to the other extreme may not be what Fred needs to flourish either. In addition, people who do truly become Fred's first ever close friends as he sees them may not truly understand what literal Fred needs in his friend virginity. A battle of sorts ensues between the two women as they do what they believe is best for Fred, who brings out maternal instincts for the first time ever in Jane.