Directed by James Schamus (directorial debut), 2016
Starring Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracey Letts,
I highly recommend this movie.*****
Set in 1951, this is the story of Marcus Messner, an idealist young man and son of a humble kosher butcher from Newark, NJ, who receives a scholarship to attend a small conservative college in Winesburg, Ohio. At the college Marcus finds himself at odds with the administration, particularly dean of men, his roommates, anti-Semitism, sexual repression and his pining away for a troubled fellow coed. The backdrop of the Korean War is everpresent.
The adversarial relationship with Hawes Caudwell, the dean, is particularly riveting. The verbal dueling between these two men makes for enthralling movie-watching.
The second tour de force is with Marcus and his mother (brilliantly performed by Linda Emond) at the hospital when he promises not to see Olivia any more.
This is a a very good story, based on the book by Phillip Roth, published in 2008. I am now reading the book, something I usually do before I see a film. But I liked the film so much, I want to see how it is faithful to the book.
The cast is near perfect….stellar performances by all. Go see this oh-so-sad and remarkable film.