N A V I
G A T E

Home
A Brief Introduction
Years in Review
Films Ranked: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Current Criticism
Search Criticism
Past Criticism
Top 10 Lists
Notable Short Films
Links
Contact Me

Indignation

Director:  James Schamus
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  2.0

Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman), the son of a (kosher) butcher, leaves his Newark, New Jersey home to study at (fictitious) Winesburg College (in Ohio) where he gets involved with damaged but sweet Olivia (Sarah Gadon) and has the best first date ever, has a fight with his roommates and eventually a sour encounter with the Dean (playwright Tracy Letts). Roth has historically not been translatable to the screen - he's a marvelous novelist and storyteller, but Hollywood's never been quite sure how to treat the material - and the same situation applies here: Marcus and Olivia's relationship doesn't take hold because either the characters or the performers are too stiff and unnatural (I'm not sure which but I'm leaning towards the latter), Marcus is a churlish kid who's challenging to empathize with and the protracted verbal duel with Dean Caudwell feels more like a scene from a play than a moment that flows naturally with the material. Trust a fan: Roth's eloquent bile is best appreciated on paper (so get to a library!).

Return to the Previous Page

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Lotti.