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2081 (2009)

 -  Short | Action | Sci-Fi  -  29 May 2009 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,764 users  
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A short film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, 2081 depicts a dystopian future in which, thanks to the 212th Amendment to the Constitution and the unceasing vigilance of the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Narrator (voice)
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Lead HG Man (as James Burns)
Yuris Skujins ...
Stuttering TV Anchor
David Healy ...
Replacement TV Anchor
Alina Faye ...
Lead Ballerina
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'Prima' Ballerina (as Becky King)
Ira Gold ...
Lead Usher
Florian Kashani ...
Lead Security Guard
David Conner ...
Solo Cellist
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Bomb Specialist
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Bomb Specialist
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Storyline

A short film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, 2081 depicts a dystopian future in which, thanks to the 212th Amendment to the Constitution and the unceasing vigilance of the United States Handicapper General, everyone is "finally equal...." The strong wear weights, the beautiful wear masks and the intelligent wear earpieces that fire off loud noises to keep them from taking unfair advantage of their brains. It is a poetic tale of triumph and tragedy about a broken family, a brutal government, and an act of defiance that changes everything. Featuring an original score performed by the world-renowned Kronos Quartet (Requiem for a Dream) and narration by Academy Award Nominee Patricia Clarkson (Far From Heaven, Goodnight and Good Luck), 2081 stars James Cosmo (Braveheart, Trainspotting), Julie Hagerty (Airplane!, What About Bob?) and Armie Hammer (The Social Network). Written by Anonymous

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Everyone Will Finally Be Equal

Genres:

Short | Action | Sci-Fi

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29 May 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia referenced the film's story in his dissent in the case of Martin v. PGA Tour, Inc. (2001). See more »

Quotes

Hazel Bergeron: Aww, hon, you look upset. What's wrong?
George Bergeron: I... uh... don't know. Something sad... on television, I think...
Hazel Bergeron: Well, you should forget sad things anyway. I always do.
See more »

Connections

Version of Between Time and Timbuktu (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mostly Good
1 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

I've always been a fan of the Vonnegut short story. And I have watched other versions of this story as well - one of the most effective being one of the segments on the seminal "Between Time & Timbuktu" TV broadcast some 35 years ago. Sadly, that movie has been endlessly tied up in litigation for decades, or so I've heard.

2081 is an admirable attempt to update the story and modernize it by incorporating technology that is more relevant to OUR day. While it is doubtful that the technology will look anything like this in the real 2081, it's an acceptable approximation of what might be.

I enjoyed the performances. Julie Hagerty deserves more praise for her role as Hazel. She plays blank and clueless very well.

The soundtrack was pretty powerful. There were some nice touches throughout - such as the clumsiness of the ballerinas. And a misstep or two, as in having Diana Moon Glampers portrayed as an attractive middle-aged woman. The image of the Handicapper General I always got from the Vonnegut story was more along the lines of "Granny" from the old Beverly Hillbillies TV show. Regardless, that is a bit of nit-picking on my part.

Overall, I don't think this adaptation was completely successful, but I can't identify exactly why. As another poster said, there was something lacking. Still, it's a good attempt at fleshing out Vonnegut's story about the absurdity that would ensue if we took the idea that "all men are created equal" to ridiculous extremes. The "Founding Fathers" of course meant that we are all equal in the eyes of the Creator. But almost all of us know that we are not, nor can ever be equal in the talents and skills each of us possesses.


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