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Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
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Set in a small town in North Carolina, George Washington is the story of a tight-knit multi-racial group of working-class kids caught in a tragic lie. After a twelve-year-old girl breaks up with her boyfriend for a sensitive, deeply introspective thirteen-year-old boy named George, a bizarre series of events and an innocent cover-up launches their insular group on individual quests for redemption. Written by
Nearly all of the actors in the film were non-professionals that had been hand-picked by David Gordon Green through random circumstances. The most interesting of these circumstances was how Green met with actor Donald Holden, who played George Richardson. Green has said that he met with Donald Holden on a beach near where he lived at the time and simply asked him to be in the film. See more »
It is stated early in the film that Buddy is 13 years old, yet on his missing sign, it says he is only 10. See more »
I'm a hero because I like to save people's lives. Stuff like that.
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The producers wish to thank ... The Maders ... Christof Gebert's Mom ... The Thompson Family ... The McIlwain Family ... The Purcell Family ... The People of Kennersville, North Carolina and The People of Spencer, North Carolina. See more »
So lively, so convincing, so extraordinarily absorbing, not to be missed by those looking for underrated movies. ***1/2 (out of four)
GEORGE WASHINTON / (2000) ***1/2 (out of four)
By Blake French:
"George Washington" details the drowsy lives of several preteen friends during their last summer of childhood, and it feels so accurate how the characters behave in the slumberous, low standard society. This is the summer where their first crushes arrive and flowering sexuality gives them confidence instead of confusion. It is a summer where the heat is consistent and the days seemingly last forever with nothing to do. The movie is about how a tragedy can forever change the course of individual lives so unexpectedly and abruptly.
The setting is North Carolina on an industrial landscape, where we meet several black kids between the ages of ten and thirteen. The preteens are Buddy (Curtis Cotton III), who has a crush on Nasia (Candace Evanofski). She leaves him a young fellow named George (Donald Holden). George is a very interesting character; the plates in his skull did not meet correctly, so he must wear a protective helmet to cover his delicate head. George saves a child from drowning, even though his head is never supposed to get wet. He then walks around with a cape on, feeling accomplished like a hero. Then an accident happens, leaving the remaining characters with a lot to think about.
There is not a lot of active conflict here, just an examination of behaviors of a variety of characters. They are not your typical characters, though; they are so brilliantly portrayed they feel like regular, ordinary people. The performances are extraordinary. The atmosphere and melancholy setting play large roles in the monotonous tone, comparable conceivably with the work of Terence Malick. There is an honest and true sentimentality here, like the director, David Gordon Greene, wanted to inject personal and thought-provoking ideas in his innovative style, which sometimes seems a bit preachy.
"George Washington" is one of the most under appreciated movies of 2000. As I look over the Academy Award nominees I am disturbed. For the first time in a long time the members chose box-office successes over movie quality. Among the movies missing from the ballot are "Human Resources," "The Virgin Suicides," and "George Washington." The film is one of the year's most poignant and heartbreaking. Everything that happens here is so lively, so convincing, so extraordinarily absorbing. It is a movie not to be missed by those looking for great underrated movies.
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