The elusive/murky-truth documentary has become the arthouse version of the nothing-as-it-seems thriller. Friedmans is also a cousin to the beneath-suburbia-lie-dark-secrets drama, although, as an elusive/murky-truth documentary, it's never clear how deep or dark these secrets go. To be fair, it's a fascinating film, although it could've just as easily aired on television. I don't blame Jarecki for failing to make the movie particularly "cinematic," as documentary films are often at an unfair advantage to their more widely seen, sensationalized TV counterparts. But the film is, essentially, a lengthy news report, albeit an unusually probing and multifacted one. The few stabs at cinema are poorly aimed. There are too many time-lapse shots of foliage, Long Island Railroad trains and traffic, including a long, ominous pan over what turns out to be... the Friedmans' street sign. All of the Long Island sightseeing borders on unintentional hilarity.
Continue reading: Capturing The Friedmans Review
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The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.