A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is a 2006 American drama film based on a 2001 memoir of the same name by author, director, and musician Dito Montiel, which describes his youth in Astoria, New York during the 1980s.
Montiel wrote and directed the film adaptation, which was released in the United States in September and October 2006 and in Europe in March 2007. The film stars Robert Downey, Jr. as Montiel with Shia LaBeouf as a younger Montiel.
The film's narrative jumps frequently between 2006 and flashbacks from 1986 (filmed largely with shaky camera with short shots) with characters occasionally addressing the viewer.
Dito is a successful writer in Los Angeles. One day, after being urged by his mother, Flori, and his friend, Nerf, Dito visits his childhood home, Astoria, New York, because his father has suddenly become very ill. The film switches back and forth between the present and flashbacks with Dito's memories in the summer of 1986.