Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Oct 2016)
Brief Synopsis – A coming of age tale for a young Jewish boy from New Jersey who goes off to college in Ohio during the days of the Korean War
My Take on it – Ever since I was a kid, I’ve heard about stories by Philip Roth and always been impressed with what I’ve been told.
I personally have never read any of the books, but have seen a few of the movies.
This is quite an interesting story because it tells us so much about the way life was during the early 1950’s where so many Aspects of what we now deem normal life were thought of as taboo and not discussed in any way in public.
It is all done quite subtly here and we see characters dealing with themes that range from religious beliefs, antisemitism, abortion, what happens on dates, divorce, suicide, mental breakdowns and even assimilation.
Ironic how we see all of these themes now as ones which people discuss freely with little to no inhibition at all.
Logan Lerman is great in the title role and even serves as a a producer on his film.
He is excellent here because his character feels so easy to relate to and identify with no matter what hurdles he needs to face.
Tracy Letts is also great (as always) as the strict Dean of students at the college where Lerman’s character must maneuver among the strict rules in order to try and succeed.
The only problem that I had with this film is that the end is too ambiguous instead of telling us what really was happening. In some cases that’s a good thing, but for a film like this, better closure would have helped.
From what I’ve read online, the book does a better job with the ending.
Bottom Line – Very interesting story that says so much about life during the early 50’s. It touches upon so many great themes and subtly shows us how people back then reacted to themes that they thought were taboo and have become so much a part of our current world. Lerman is great in the title role because he is so easy to identify with. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Directorial debut of James Schamus. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy
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