By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 18, 2011 at 3:40AM
Update: Clips have been moved at the request of the Tribeca Films and Paper Street Films.
"Detachment" is "American History X" director Tony Kaye's first feature film in over a decade -- not counting the abortion documentary "Lake Of Fire" or the still-shelved thriller "Black Water Transit." Like anything Kaye approaches, the material is highly charged, centering on a substitute public school teacher, Henry Barthes who encounters three women who change his detached attitude to his job. Certainly, the cast is exceptional, with Adrien Brody in the lead, with Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, James Caan, Marcia Gay Harden, Blythe Danner, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen and Bryan Cranston all featuring in the film. But by all accounts, the movie is a freewheeling misfire, with our own review from the Tribeca Film Festival calling it "a fascinating mess you can't look away from." Well, three clips from the movie have popped up over at a Russian Adrien Brody fansite (who knew?) and they certainly point to a flawed but nonetheless intriguing effort.
The three scenes are certainly imbued with a genuine feeling of sincerity and an endeavor to find authenticity, even if those moments are completely undercut at every turn. The scene in which Mr. Barthes strolls into this first lesson in an English class starts off well enough, but the depictions of angry teenagers seem written by someone who has never met a teenager in their life, and the closing moments of Brody talking down the Angry Black Kid is completely unbelievable. Another scene in which teachers lament the absence of parents is far too on-the-nose and the closing racing dolly shot on Marcia Gay Harden is just...weird. All in all it's a strange amalgam of decent performances and overwrought material, wrapped up in a Message Movie.
Check it out for yourself below. "Detachment" will get a VOD and theatrical release later this winter via Tribeca Film.