Rachael Handy

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George Washington Review


Excellent
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.

Continue reading: George Washington Review

George Washington Review


Weak

Like a thought-provoking Spike Lee social commentary without all the hip pretense, "George Washington" is a startlingly authentic portrait of apathy, futility and discontented boredom ingrained upon a group of poverty-stricken kids in the rural South.

This vérité-style festival buzz pic centers around best friends Buddy (Curtis Cotton III), a contemplative 13-year-old nursing a broken heart, and George (Donald Holden), an ambitious boy with a bone ailment that has left his skull so soft he wears a old football helmet (with a broken facemask) everywhere he goes to protect him from unexpected blows that could kill him.

These two, and a handful of pals, spend their days escaping turbulent home lives (George's dog is deliberately killed by his unemployed drunk of an uncle) by wandering aimlessly around their dilapidated ex-industrial town of boarded-up store fronts, abandoned water parks and shattered souls. Quite literally they have nothing else to do, and the movie resonates with the kids' malaise without falling victim to it.

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