Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tribeca Film Festival review DETACHMENT

a sensitive powder keg of a film with an engaged script that is powerfully directed by Tony Kaye and acted by a superb ensemble cast with top-of-their-game performances from Adrian Brody, James Caan and Marcia Gay Harden. A forceful answer-back to liberal embraced Waiting for Superman. DETACHMENT captures the desperate position that budget cutting, fast-lane test scores criteria of teaching success, the amoral drenching of young people in false marketing fantasy of who they should be and the further break down in family structure fueled now by economy collapse. Kaye sets a character landscape that more fully dimensions the effect on all aspects of life of teachers and students the collapse of the public education system and humanizes the almost cliche emotional dysfunction that results. Kaye never stoops to exploitation or easy violence in his frank depiction. This allows the audience to resonate not simply in shock but with more complicated emotions. Brody fleshes out how an adult can make choices despite the pain that kids are just not capable of making because their life experience has not conditioned them yet to make. I suggest it is a must see film if you care about an America that still believes every citizen is entitled to an a quality, free education. And it s about time some one shows just how complicated the life of teachers are today. Life is complicated and there are no real heroes in this films but the humanity of each character is vividly displayed onscreen. Each performance especially Bordie is wonderfully nuanced DETACHMENTis a film that both teenagers and teachers and parents can identify with and one that should make smooth talking politicians sweat. Note: it is also entertaining in a way that narrative films can be with serious subjects that documentaries by form can not.

jim fouratt
reel deal