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Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Leaving the ivy-covered walls of Yale behind, the privileged and intellectual Samuel sets out to discover the real world armed with books and a strong conviction of atheism. He goes to work at an apple orchard under an alias, but is thrust into a world he is wholly unprepared for with religious locals and untrustworthy co-workers. His sexuality and lack of faith will be tested as he learns to rely on strangers in a world that can't be taught in books and a classroom.Written by
I look forward to many more adaptations from David Sedaris's writings!
'C.O.G.': Four Stars (Out of Five)
Comedy drama film about a young college graduate (from Yale) who travels to Oregon to takes a job (under an alias) as an apple picker and then a clock maker. He has to deal with a lot of really religious and poor folks who find him very awkward and odd. It's based on the autobiographical short story by popular humorist and author David Sedaris ('C.O.G.' was featured in his 1997 collection of essays 'Naked'). The movie was written and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez and stars Jonathan Groff (of 'GLEE' fame). I found it to be darkly humorous and a pretty insightful look at human nature.
Groff plays David (based on Sedaris) who travels to Oregon (the movie was filmed all on location in Portland), after he graduates from Yale, in order to work among common folks (using the name Samuel). He first gets a job as an apple picker, working for a farmer named Hobbs (Dean Stockwell), and is promoted to work in the factory there. After complications arise with a co-worker (Corey Stoll) he leaves his job suddenly and calls up an extremely religious Christian, named Jon (Denis O'Hare), he met on the street (handing out pamphlets). Jon calls himself a 'C.O.G' (Child of God). He takes David in to the house he's temporarily staying at and teaches him how to make Oregon shaped clocks with him, to sell at an upcoming fair.
The movie is an interesting character study that is darkly funny but also pretty depressing; just when things are looking up (for our hero) they're always being turned around again and it's a pretty pessimistic look at life (in a lot of ways). It is based on Sedaris's actual experiences though. I really like Groff's performance, Alvarez's directing and the haunting music (which plays heavily throughout the film) by Steve Reich. I look forward to movies from all these three again as well as more adaptations from David Sedaris's writings!
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