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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.