Detachment

"Good"

Detachment Review


An almost overpowering sense of hopelessness makes this education-system drama difficult to watch. Fortunately, it's directed and acted with enough sensitivity to stir our sympathies. Although we're not sure we want to go wherever this bleak story might be heading.

Henry (Brody) takes a month-long assignment teaching at a tough school run by beleaguered principal Carol (Harden). Unflappable in the face of the unruly students, he calmly tries to get through to the teens. He clicks with fellow teacher Sarah (Hendricks). As a substitute, Henry's job is to maintain order, which seems like an impossible challenge. So he instead reaches out to a teen hooker (Gayle), thinking he might actually be able to make a difference in her life. But he can't help but wonder if he's doing more harm than good.

Despite its plaintive, introspective tone, this film heavy-handedly rants about an education system that has failed both children and teachers. The teachers all seem on the edge, worn down by constant abuse from out-of-control students and parents who blame their own failings on the school. So it's chilling to watch Henry's inner rage boil over in other settings, lashing out at anyone who slacks off in his or her job.

Kaye vividly portrays the teachers' powerlessness. The school shrink (Liu) faces mind-boggling issues, while the stand-in dean (Caan) shrugs helplessly in the face of disrespect. Clearly, screenwriter Lund's targets are parents who shirk their responsibility to guide their children into becoming useful members of society. And then there are politicians who have no interest in helping anyone but themselves, stressing mindless test scores over actual education.

The film opens with a quote from Albert Camus, "And never have I felt so deeply at one and the same time so detached from myself and so present in the world." Punctuated with chalkboard-style animation and an overpowering sense of decay, the story takes harrowing turns that feel a bit pushy, piling on wrenching emotions along with a general sense of desperation, as if America is heading for an apocalypse. This might be true, but the film feels as if it's saying that it's impossible to change a broken system.



Detachment

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 1st February 2012

Box Office USA: $70.9k

Distributed by: Tribeca Films

Production compaines: Kingsgate Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Fresh: 38 Rotten: 29

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Bingo Gubelmann, Benji Kohn, Carl Lund, Chris Papavasiliou, , Austin Stark

Starring: as Henry Barthes, as Principal Carol Dearden, as Mr. Charles Seaboldt, as Ms. Sarah Madison, as Dr. Parker, as Ms. Perkins, as Mr. Wiatt, as Mr. Sarge Kepler, as Richard Dearden, as Erica, Celia Au as Ellen (as Sze Ming Au), as Grampa, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as Mr. Mathias, as Ms. Estrada

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.