Detachment

Detachment

Academy Award winner Adrien Brody stars as Henry Barthes, an educator with a true talent to connect with his students. Yet Henry has chosen to bury his gift. By spending his days as a substitute teacher, he conveniently avoids any emotional connections by never staying anywhere long enough to form an attachment to either students or colleagues. When a new assignment places him at a public school where a frustrated, burned-out administration has created an apathetic student body, Henry soon becomes a role model to the disaffected youth. In finding an unlikely emotional connection to the students, teachers, and a runaway teen he takes in from the streets, Henry realizes that he's not alone in his life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world. 2.6 out of 5 based on 14 reviews
Detachment

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Drama
Director Tony Kaye
Cast Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden, James Caan Adrien Brody
Studio G2 Pictures Cinema
Release Date July 2012
Running Time 98 mins
 

Academy Award winner Adrien Brody stars as Henry Barthes, an educator with a true talent to connect with his students. Yet Henry has chosen to bury his gift. By spending his days as a substitute teacher, he conveniently avoids any emotional connections by never staying anywhere long enough to form an attachment to either students or colleagues. When a new assignment places him at a public school where a frustrated, burned-out administration has created an apathetic student body, Henry soon becomes a role model to the disaffected youth. In finding an unlikely emotional connection to the students, teachers, and a runaway teen he takes in from the streets, Henry realizes that he's not alone in his life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world.

Reviews

The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

The film avoids the Hollywood trope of the inspired teacher who wins out with his pupils in the end but its essential honesty is dissipated by a fractured style that doesn’t always avoid pretension. If Detachment is only partially successful, it is still more watchable than most school sagas.

13/07/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Like the recent Margaret it rages against the dying of the light in a country where too many people think the lights are still on.

12/07/2012

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The Guardian

Andrew Pulver

Kaye turns this parable into a full-on psychodrama ... it's watchable enough, but the bludgeoning screenplay seems undercooked compared to the high-grade actors on show.

12/07/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

A drama about the problem of teenagers that sounds like it was written by one, though the solemn references to a "marketing holocaust" and a "carnival of pain" are the work of writer Carl Lund, possibly egged on by Kaye himself.

13/07/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Robert Abele

Former teacher Carl Lund's lost-souls screenplay has all the hallmarks of something issue-smart yet dramatically amateurish, which in the hands of filmmaker Tony Kaye — not known for subtlety — certainly makes for emotional unpredictability.

23/05/2012

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The New York Times

Stephen Holden

To camouflage its trashier impulses, Detachment buttresses its jeremiad about the failing public-education system with quotations from The Stranger by Albert Camus and a reading from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. The shriller its didacticism, the more unhinged it becomes. But even at its most ludicrous — when it is shouting into your ear — its sheer audacity grabs your attention.

15/03/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

The sort of thing that gives pessimism a bad name

15/07/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

The pupils, [meanwhile,] are too wrapped up in themselves to care at all about their futures, let alone envision a way to secure one for themselves. All of which makes teaching seem relentlessly grim, something Detachment is a little too intent on impressing upon us as Brody’s saintly educator finds himself trying to save – groan – an under-age prostitute

12/07/2012

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

Kaye’s direction is audacious, chucking in animated inserts and murky flashbacks to occasionally bracing effect. But his intentions are never clear ... Whatever the answers are, ‘Detachment’ doesn’t work, but it’s a fascinating, hypnotic and sometimes powerful failure.

11/07/2012

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The Times

The Times

Stylistically bold, emotionally weighted and infuriatingly indulgent, this study of education and family may not be entirely convincing but it has a verve and daring that makes for a compelling watch.

13/07/2012

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The Sunday Times

Jonathan Dean

With depressive teachers, battered teenage prostitutes and Adrien Brody’s abusive grandad, you wonder what you did to deserve this.

15/07/2012

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Total Film

Neil Smith

While you can admire the rigour of director Tony Kaye’s bleak vision, it’s impossible to take his didactic diatribe as seriously as it takes itself.

02/07/2012

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Empire Magazine

Angie Errigo

Incredible performances from the cast, but Detachment is perhaps just too pretentiously depressing for its own good.

09/07/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

Grappling with the dilapidation of America’s school system is fair enough, but the movie is painfully undone by its pretentious poetry of despair.

13/07/2012

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