Director: Tony Kaye
Stars: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks & Marcia Gay Harden
Tony Kaye was renowned for being difficult to work with while making his critically acclaimed 'American History X' in 1998, due to this he has never really had much of career since, despite the films positive reaction. 'Detachment', released in late of 2011 (or 2012 depending on your country), is the most significant work in his filmography since that time.
Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody) is a substitute teacher, who is disheartened with the world, he is achingly miserable when he accepts a teaching job and hopeless school.
Having been to a school like the one depicted in this film, I could instantly connect to this film. It was horrible and almost unsurvivable and has given me an early understanding of horrible and unhappy places. Adrien Brody's character Henry Barthes, whom is already an unhappy person, then enters this world and sees children's lives being destroyed before they truly begin, It's a confronting fact of our world and the film does a fine job depicting it.
There have been so many films which have featured the same plot outline, where an sad teacher enters the lives of students and people around him and they are able to enlighten each others lives, 'Detachment' is so far away from those other films, its very sad, very surreal and is never really all that hopeful. The film does portray utter hopelessness and despair though, and maybe that's more realistic.
Adrien Brody gives a fine lead performance and really captures depression and grief well, Also I didn't realize this film had such a prolific cast, nobody really gets much time but their are appearances by Christiana Hendricks,James Caan, Lucy Liu, Tim Blake Nelson, Marcia Gay Harden, Blythe Danner and even Bryan Cranston!
'Detachment' is a fine film, as I have said it depicts sadness,despair and loneliness well, but it is such a deliberately harrowing experience and not in the informative or life changing way. A little bit of hope goes a long way.