George Washington

"Excellent"

George Washington Review


What astonishes is not that George Washington is a good film, it's that the movie can tell such a powerful and complicated story in just 89 minutes. Its length is a telling reminder that length does not equal gravity. In fact, thinking over the last year or so of 2 1/2-hour-plus epics that never got around to saying much of anything, I'm inclined to believe that the opposite is true.

Recalling Days of Heaven and Sling Blade, George Washington takes us on a tour of the Deep South, centering on a preteen African-American named George (Richardson, not Washington -- played by Donald Holden), a boy whose skull bones have never fully developed. With his soft head, he wears a helmet wherever he goes and isn't allowed to go swimming, as the water would in some way soak into his brain, causing extreme pain.

George and his friends live the idle lives of teens on a near-permanent summer vacation, goofing off in the woods, breaking into abandoned buildings, stealing cars, and what have you. One day, the adventures get a little rough, and one of the children end up dead. Without really thinking about it, George and his friends simply cover it up, staging an accident and leaving the body to rot where it won't be found. And they go on with their lives.

But something changes within George, and he slowly begins assuming the role of a superhero. After risking his own life to save a drowning boy, he eventually dons a cape and dog-skin cap to direct traffic through his Podunk town. George's life gets ever more mysterious, and still the film's title is not explained.

It's a slow burn and harrowing ride through what would otherwise be a standard coming of age flick. Partly scripted and partly improvised following David Gordon Green's amazing direction (this is his first film), the junkyard panoramas and organ music that punctuate the movie belie a sophistication you wouldn't otherwise expect from a movie like this. George Washington will not be a film for all tastes (and a cryptic, pedestrian title won't have 'em rushing to the theaters), but the film is simply so urgent it's hard to ignore. Worth looking around for.

Thankfully, the film is finally being released on DVD with the full Criterion treatment, with commentary from Green, cinematographer Tim Orr, and actor Paul Schneider that answers a lot of nagging questions you might have, plus a handful of short films from Green's past, all exploring the George Washington universe (amazingly, none of them are very good). Skip the shorts. Stick with the movie. Highly recommended.

Here's to you, Mr. Washington.



George Washington

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th September 2001

Distributed by: Code Red

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Fresh: 51 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Sacha W. Mueller,

Starring: as Nasia, as George, as Vernon, as Buddy, as Sonya, as Rico Rice, as Damascus, as Aunt Ruth, Derricka Rolle as Whitney, as Denise, as Euless, as Augie, Beau Nix as Rico's Father

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.