Logan Lerman's INDIGNATION is a Witty and Fun 1950s Coming-of-Age Film — Sundance Review
Indignation is a wonderful period piece set in 1951. The story is based on a book of the same name by Philip Roth. The film follows a boy named Marcus, played by Logan Lerman. He is the atheist Jewish son of a butcher from New Jersey, and he enrolls in a small Christian Ohio college to avoid being drafted into the Korean War and to get away from his overbearing parents. It is here that the character is met with a variety of challenges such as anti-Semitism, sexual repression, and the ongoing war.
Marcus is kind of a loner that moves to the beat of his own drum. But he stands up for what he believes in and he doesn't back down from an argument. He is very passionate about his beliefs and what he thinks is right and wrong.
While attending college, he meets a girl who challenges him in ways he's never been challenged before. On their first date, she surprises him with a blowjob and he doesn't know what to make of it. It really confuses the hell out of him and he doesn't know how to process it. The two end up forming a strong relationship and along the way they learn more about each other, but the full past of this girl remains a mystery. One thing we know for sure is that she has some major issues and it's revealed that she spent some time in a mental institute.
It's a dramatic story but it's sprinkled with some fantastically fun humor and there are moments that are really quite charming. There's one relationship in particular that was incredibly entertaining and that was between Marcus and the dean of the college. There was one scene between the two characters that was incredible. In it they argue about religion, life, and dealing with problems Marcus is confronted with. The scene is 15 minutes long and the exchange of words between these two characters is brilliant. The whole audience roared in applause when it was over.
The writing in this film was smooth, smart, and witty, which is the main reason why I enjoyed this movie so much. On top of that, Lerman gives one of the best performances of his career. He perfectly fits this character and delivered the wonderfully fun dialogue in such a perfectly natural way. I would like to see him nominated for some awards for his performance.
This movie was directed by first time feature film director James Schamus, but this isn't his first time working on a movie. He has produced several movies over the years and has written scripts for films such as Hulk and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, as well as serving as the CEO of Focus Features for a number of years. He did such a spectacular job bringing this story to the big screen.
Indignation is a fantastic film worth watching. The movie was picked up by Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment so this is sure to get at least a limited theatrical release. Make sure to check it out when it comes to theaters!