F.I.LM. of the Week (August 12, 2011)

12 08 2011

Long before Jesse Eisenberg got slapped by Laura Linney, worked at an amusement park with the annoying “Twilight” chickfought zombies, escorted grey-haired Michael Douglas around a college campuscreated social networks, or robbed a bank with a bomb strapped to his chest, he made one heck of a performance in a little movie called “Roger Dodger,” my pick for the “F.I.L.M. of the Week.”  His cinematic debut at the age of 19 still stands as one of his most impressive works, full of the same richness, depth, and neuroticism that has made the Oscar-nominated actor one of the brightest shining faces of a new Hollywood order.  Alongside seasoned pros like Campbell Scott and Isabella Rossellini, Eisenberg propels the movie to some impressively high heights.

Long before Ryan Gosling turned bar pick-ups into an art in “Crazy Stupid Love,” Campbell Scott’s Roger Swanson saw everything in the world through the lens of sex.  In a brilliant take on evolution in the opening scene, he composedly explains how it is the final utility to left to man – and how in the future, once it’s gone, men will be totally obsolete and unnecessary.  Soon after, he’s dumped by his stalwart mistress and boss Joyce (Rossellini) and left in the doldrums to wallow in fear of his irrelevance.

But a surprise comes in the form of his 16-year-old nephew Nick, played by the tense and naive Eisenberg, who has heard that his uncle is quite the libido-driven lothario and wants a sort of real-world sex-ed class.  Roger begins by exposing Nick to all the sex around him that he’s totally oblivious too and then dumps him in situations for seduction with some beautiful older women.  Despite being with a living, breathing manual for these kinds of moments, Nick can never execute, scaring Roger into thinking that the night will have to end with a prostitute.

It’s a fascinating evening as Nick is forced to confront his sexual limits amidst Roger’s mid-life crisis which is forcing him to confront the implications and consequences of his own sexual behavior.  Scott and Eisenberg animate these fascinating self-examinations with a humorous yet probing seriousness.  They are undoubtedly helped by writer/director Dylan Kidd, whose script is intelligent and asks some challenging questions to both the characters on screen and the audience watching them.  A fan can only hope that Eisenberg keeps getting golden material like this to highlight his exceptional showmanship.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

2 responses

15 08 2011
Steven Flores

That film is in my list of the best films of the 2000s as I’m still working on that list of films very sporadically. I love it and it’s funny but also heartwarming. Eisenberg was the real discovery for me when I saw it. My favorite scene in that film is the ending. Just in terms of how much Eisenberg could do without dialogue. That’s when I knew this kid is going to be something.

15 08 2011
CMrok93

This one has been sitting on my drawer for quite some time but thanks to you Marshall, I’m checking this out tonight! Thanks man!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: