The public school system has always been a reliable reservoir of liberal angst, what with the low funding and the casually coded racism/classism and completely tangled burueaucracy. There’s a lot to get mad about! Detachment, starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody, will attempt to put a personal face on that frustration. Brody plays a substitute teacher trying to avoid connecting to his students, which becomes difficult when he’s placed at a school where everything is farkakte. Directed by American History X‘s Tony Kaye, it seems an easy bet to provoke something out of your ooey-gooey moviegoing heart.
You know what’s a good sign things aren’t going to turn out so nicely? The trailer opens with Isiah Whitlock Jr. (scuzzy politician Clay Davis on The Wire) giving a syrupy speech about how underappreciated teachers are. There’s not much else to say: the photography looks good, the actors look emotive, it swells and cuts in the right places and there’s a nice credit sequence where you can gawk at all the big names involved (James Caan!). Why not?
Most notably, it’ll try to reactivate Kaye’s dormant career, as he hasn’t had any big projects since American History X. Though this trailer shows some similar bursts of pretension ("A Tony Kaye Talkie, really?) it’ll be interesting to see what he’s got to say. You might remember this interview with The Telegraph from a few years ago in which he talked at length about how he fell out of favor with Hollywood following the success of AHX. "Listen," he told them. "I did a lot of very insane things. A lot of very, very, very insane things." Oh word?
Detachment comes out in theaters on March 16th, but it’ll be available via iTunes on February 24.