Gar is a high school journalist who covers the basketball team as it heads toward a state championship; when his best friend Matt, the team's star, is asked by a drug dealer to throw the big game, Gar inevitably gets caught in the middle.
Haley Joel Osment,
Two powerful, yet deeply troubled women - refugees from political and personal trauma - flee a past that haunts them. The daughter of a murdered Black Panther revolutionary, Tess, lives off... See full summary »
'Rule Number One: Boys are only after one thing!' warns Grace's mother as she gets ready for her first date. Grace sets out to prove her mother wrong, using her high school media class ... See full summary »
Mona is nearly overwhelmed by grief and depression. After her father's death, she's cut herself off: leaving teaching - she now temps as an office assistant, ignoring her mother's calls, ... See full summary »
H. Jon Benjamin,
Beautiful Katie Lapp has always felt something missing in her simple Amish existence -- until a mysterious "Englisher" comes to Lancaster County looking for the baby girl she gave up for adoption 19 years ago.
Sarah Smith, an artist and government hydrologist, sets out on a post-fire stream survey in a remote part of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southwestern Oregon. In the course of her journey ... See full summary »
Jason Butler Harner,
Isaac C. Singleton Jr.
Bobby Cannavale is Brilliant as a Downhill Train Wreck
WEAKNESS is a strange little film that in many ways describes the flailing sense of isolation so many people are feeling in contemporary society. While it tells a well constructed story it simultaneously pulls up the window shades on the realities of how far too many people have lost the positive direction of creating meaningful relationships. Michael Melamedoff is a young newcomer and this is his first full-length film - a work he both wrote and directed - and he gives evidence of a thinking man who has concerns about how we all function in this chaotic world.
High school English teacher Joshua Polansky (Bobby Cannavale, in an exceptionally fine performance) is a sweet guy whose pupils like him: outside the classroom his world is in shambles. He is married to the free-spirited Elizabeth (June Diane Raphael) whose hobby is making ceramic phalluses to sell at the local flea market and wants to try 'swinging' with another couple; his mother Lenore (Phyllis Somerville) is dying (and does die) from cancer leaving Joshua to care for his severely autistic, hospitalized brother Pete (Keith Nobbs) whose violent behavior results in his being removed from care; his best friend and fellow teacher in Health Education Bart (Josh Charles) attempts to use Joshua's appeal to women by competing for the attention of another fellow English teacher Katherine (Lily Rabe); after Lenore's death Joshua and his sensually frustrated wife Elizabeth must provide a home for Pete who usurps all of Joshua's time with baseball and games; Lenore's home must be fixed up and in trying to do so Joshua falls off the roof and injures his leg and Elizabeth must find a repairman to work the empty house. Joshua stays home on summer break, Elizabeth hires the handsome Alejandro (Daniel Sunjata) to repair Lenore's house
and begins an affair. The emotionally distraught Joshua falls in with
a beautiful just-graduated pupil Danielle (Danielle Panabaker) and fears the consequences of having a relationship with a girl so young despite the fact that Elizabeth has now asked for a divorce. Events tumble in Joshua's train wreck of a life and how he confronts all of the endless issues that he faces finds him just plowing through life with a kind of nonchalance, just assuming that things will begin to improve without his urging.
That all of this works is due to the quality of writing and directing from Melamedoff and from consistently excellent performances not only form the brilliant Cannavale, but from everyone in the well-selected cast. The fact that we, the audience, can hang in there with Joshua as he outlines many of the failings of contemporary interpersonal relationships is a tribute to all involved in this fine little film.
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