DRAMA/ SOCIAL COMMENTARY
Obviously inspired by films such as "To Sir With Love" and "The Blackboard Jungle" and others like it. Starring Adrien Brody as Henry Barthes on his first teaching day on possibly one of the worst schools in America full of students who happen to be misfits, criminals and mental issues and are getting away with their criminal behaviour because of they're underage and because their parents are ignorantly self indulgent. Lack of funding for education blah, blah, blah- showcasing criminal situations that can either be thought up by newspapers or by writers coming up with this stuff themselves. the person who's the center of all of this are well intentioned and goody goody Mr. Henry Barthes played by Adrien Brody who also happends to be the narrator as well. Very hopeless film which law enforcement or government are never used as part of a solution to rectify any of the issues. Although I struggled to watching this I was able to finish this film as a result of seeing some recognizable actors and just seeing them act such as Lucty Liu, Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks,Blythe Danner, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen, Bryan Cranston and James Caan. I felt detached by watching this.
1 out of 4
Auteur Tony Kaye's visual essay on the state of public education in America is melodic, unique, moody and poetic. Like a minimalist Terrence Malick, Kaye illustrates a group of lost souls searching for meaning. "Detachment" is thoroughly depressing, and only for mature audiences, but it's one of the most daring pictures to come out in years with some powerhouse performances. Haunting. Disturbing. Powerful.
What an absolute gem of a movie! I was sitting at home late one night going through my Netflix online streaming queue and came across this flick. I was not expecting much, but I ended up pleasantly surprised.
I have to say, this movie cast an allure I don't fully understand. A GQ-suited Adrien Brody is good as the aforementioned sub, who doesn't care but actually REALLY does care about the lives of his temporary charges. I could have done without the boring is-he-or-isn't-he-a-molester grandpa subplot, but the film's central relationship between Brody's bummed-out teacher and an adolescent prostitute is surprisingly beguiling, given how hoary and cliche it is.
But too often, the small scattershot moments of emotional truth are bludgeoned to death by overreaching moments of near-comic travesty. (One teacher's wife won't even look at him when he comes home. Literally.) By the end, you'll be surprised there's only one suicide given how unspeakably terrible everyone's life is. A sad-teacher montage plays like an outtake from R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" video shoot.
I was actually surprised by how many good actors got sucked into this downbeat sulk-fest (is that Bryan Cranston as a toe-sucking WASP?). But just when everything seems lost, James Caan and Blythe Danner pop up as veteran teachers who know just how to deal with Kaye's teenage overkill: they make fun of it.