THE WE AND THE I
(directed by Michael Gondry, 2013)
**** (out of 5)
> This is a sweet little film about a group of kids on the long bus ride back to their neighborhoods from the Brooklyn school they attend, on the last day of classes. As a clueless old white guy, THE WE AND THE I provides a fascinating window into a population I have no interaction with whatsoever: black inner-city adolescents just about to face the harsh realities of adulthood.
. The filmmaker appears to have gotten everything right, from the youthful culture of casual cruelty, (that I find quite breathtaking), to the insecurity of that age, and their obsession with social media. It is a pleasure to watch these appealing young actors tell their truth in a very naturalistic, honest way. Two cast members went on to big careers: Brie Larson who struck it big (deservedly) in ROOM and and Rami Malek who is a current sensation in TV’s Mr. Robot. Most of the time, this director wrings solid performances from his apparently amateur cast, that leave us feeling like eavesdroppers on the real lives of kids. Their clumsy flirtations and blustery interactions are heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Intriguing French director Michael Gondry makes great use of the soundtrack to put you in the right mood, time and place. I really liked this film.
. Bravo Independent Film Channel! You did it again. Keep these intelligent, intriguing films coming!
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