Movies about teachers seem to be their own microscopic niche in which every film is almost exactly the same underneath the hood like sports movies with the losing-training montage-win the big game pattern. Teacher movies seem to go through the failing to reach these kids, realizing how to relate, reaching these kids in time for the AP test set of steps. That sort of hinges on the teacher not being entirely broken and indifferent though, which is why we classify those films as “fiction.”
Tony Kaye, the man who taught us the curb stomping wasn’t a sick break dancing move, brings us Detachment in just such a mold. You can tell it’s a very serious movie because Adrien Brody is sadder than a whole litter of fresh-kicked puppies for the duration of the trailer. And considering he makes out with Christina Hendricks, that’s some PhD level acting right there.
Here’s the obligatory plot summary:
Director Tony Kaye’s (AMERICAN HISTORY X) long-awaited film DETACHMENT stars Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody as Henry Barthes, a substitute teacher who conveniently avoids any emotional connections by never staying anywhere long enough to form a bond with either his students or colleagues. A lost soul grappling with a troubled past, Henry finds himself at a public school where an apathetic student body has created a frustrated, burned-out administration. Inadvertently becoming a role model to his students, while also bonding with a runaway teen who is just as lost as he is, Henry finds that he’s not alone in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world.
Here’s the list of “holy crap he landed a hell of a cast for this indie film” actors: Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, William Petersen, Bryan Cranston, Tim Blake Nelson, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, James Caan, and of course Adrien Brody.
And here is the trailer: