I can’t for the life of me explain why I loved this but I did. Had I time to watch it again before the year is out (not that I’ve much of an excuse – at 88 minutes it’s astounding how much it covers), it’s likely it’d be topping my end of year list, and along with Away From Her it’s one of two films I really think should be up for Best Picture at the Oscars in February though I know there’s not a cat’s chance in hell with either (not to say I might not get ballsy and switch them into my predix at the last minute).
It’s ultimately the work of a liberal smart and world-wearied enough to know that a lot of the politics he once fought for have today gone too far just like the politics of the “enemy” – to the point where there are a lot of people like the student here who are supremely intelligent but so jaded by cynicism they feel not only that the world is beyond saving but also that they’re “above” saving it … that the world doesn’t “deserve” their help because of the way it’s beaten them down.
It’s been said many times that one doesn’t need sex, violence, and coarse language if you actually have something to say. It’s amazing that this movie manages to be just as scathingly political a film as Brian De Palma’s Redacted while being resolutely, humblingly mature about it and giving time to the other side too. It kind of made me feel ashamed for having praised the starkly crude De Palma movie so much. This one leaves you really thinking twice over the cynicism about politics so many of us have not so much taken for granted as absorbed into a status quo. I think this is that rare thing of a movie that could change people – or at least make them think about changing … or indeed, just having an opinion to begin with.