Sitting in a New York radio studio, spoken-word artist and writer Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams) starts telling a story … about a story. In a serious personal slump – his long-time boyfriend Jess (Bobby Cannavale) is moving out, he’s writer’s-blocked –his editor (Joe Morton) gives him a manuscript to get his opinion on. It’s called The Blacking Factory, and when Gabriel looks at the subtitle, he’s underwhelmed: “’A diary of transcendent hope and courage’? Oh, please … does it come with aromatherapy?”

But he starts reading it, and he’s hooked. It’s written by Pete, a young boy who’s spent years of his life being sexually abused by his parents and a circle of their friends; Pete’s out of immediate danger, living in seclusion with Donna, the social worker who’s adopted him – but he’s also slowly dying from a case of AIDS that’s being exacerbated by his other injuries and exposures to disease, all at the age of 14. And then Pete (Rory Culkin) and Donna (Toni Collette) call Gabriel to connect, and talk, with the voice they’ve listened to on the radio for so long. …

(More after the jump. ...)