Happy Valley (2014)
Critic Consensus: Sober, even-handed, and quietly devastating, Happy Valley illuminates the wreckage of a tragedy while leaving viewers room to draw their own conclusions.
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Critic Reviews for Happy Valley
It's not a groundbreaking thesis, but we still get a fascinating tour of a town that may never be the same again.
The film could've benefited from another 15 or 20 minutes of detail and nuance. What's there, though, is strong, thoughtful and disturbing.
Here it is, folks, in your face. Will you look or return to your own private Happy Valley?
The documentary offers a compelling overview of the case, but Bar-Lev spends too much time painting Paterno as a victim and scapegoat. That advocacy doesn't sit well.
Less an investigation into or comprehensive summary of the Penn State sex-abuse scandal than a look at the feelings it elicited, Amir Bar-Lev's Happy Valley is more concerned with the phenomenon of team spirit than any single question of fact.
Audience Reviews for Happy Valley
At first, the documentary doesn't seem to have any perspective until it gradually reveals a disturbing thesis . . . that people will generally disregard some of the worst things imaginable in favor of keeping their symbols and heroes intact. The fact that most of the people in this town and at this college seem to care more about Football stats than the rape of children is the perfect demonstration of humankind at it's most callous and psychotic.
When we love a famous person (in this case a revered coach), we are all too willing to overlook or disregard any and all information that makes us reexamine that person. If you have any illusions that Joe Paterno was a great guy and did all he could to prevent the rape of children, or that he truly knew nothing about it, you owe it to yourself to watch this.
Good documentary about the events of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State and most poignantly, the effect on the State College community.
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