The United States of Leland (2003) written and directed by Matthew Ryan Hoge
Teacher and aspiring novelist Pearl Madison (Don Cheadle) struggles to understand why meek isolated Leland P. Fitzgerald (Ryan Gosling) murdered slow witted Ryan Pollard (Michael Welch), younger brother of his ex-girlfriend Becky Pollard (Jena Malone). As Becky, her sister Julie (Michelle Williams) and their parents cope with their loss. Leland's parents struggle to understand why their only son did this seemingly senseless violent child homicide, as the media speculates if this was a hate crime a revenge killing or something else entirely.
- A recurring element of the film is the fact that Leland doesn't have any contact with his father, absent ever since his childhood. Ryan Gosling never shares any scenes with Kevin Spacey and in the courtroom sequence, even though both characters are present, they're never in the same frame.