Henry Barthes is a highly recommended substitute teacher, a compliment he doesn't really accept. His latest job is subbing at an inner city high school for a month, where exam grades are slipping; the pupils are unruly and the head teacher is under fire for the decline in standards there.
Many teachers are resigning, or on the verge of it. The school counsellor, Dr. Parker, is sick of the pupils' attitude to school and has a breakdown and Ms. Madison, the pretty, red-headed teacher, is being harassed by a few of her students.
Ultimately, Henry embarks on a relationship with her; he also befriends a suicidal budding photographer, Madison, who gives him a wakeup call with photos of him that she took. He also takes a teenage prostitute, Erica, under his wing, after he witnesses her being abused on a bus one night.
Around him, though, the school continues to fail and Henry, observing those around him, sees no chance of a happy ending for his fellow teachers and students.
Detachment is directed by Tony Kaye, who rose to infamy for the cult film, American History X.
Starring: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, James Caan, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, Marcia Gay Harden, Renee Felice Smith, William Petersen, Sami Gayle, Tim Blake Nelson, Doug E Doug, Josh Pais, Louis Zorich, Patricia Rae, Isiah Whitlock Jr. & Betty Kaye
Director: Tony Kaye
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