George Washington


Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 84%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 6892


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 28,685 times
November 05, 2014 at 06:59 PM


Paul Schneider as Rico Rice
Will Janowitz as Railroad Worker
1.24 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 29 min
P/S 1 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Christian 7 / 10

Not easy to appreciate but with definite substance

This independent film is perhaps one of the best take on American adolescence reality, without sex and drugs, close behind the darker and more visceral films from Larry Clark: Kids (1995) and Bully (2001). George Washington comes across as light even in the midst of tragedy and even more tragic life circumstances and reality. It seeks solace, redemption and contemplation in this contemporary boredom. It is poetic and profound at times and meanders in the mundane which it reflects well.

Dialogues and monologues are well written and feel real. Imagery is impactful and uses elements like the cape and lizard mask to convey deeper beauty and meaning. Each character is explored even if briefly to reveal depth and allow for further thoughts. George's father which we see in one scene only, Damascus' explanation of why he hates dogs, Vernon's soliloquy and Sonya's secret are the best examples.

The fragility of actions and consequences. Thoughts, feelings and circumstances.

Although it may be missing an ethereal "je ne sais quoi" to bind everything together a bit more tightly, it achieves the ambiance and ambition of letting us into the life and preoccupations of our young protagonists.

Recommended and good for multiple viewings.

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10

Not Bad

A group of children, in a depressed small town, band together to cover up a tragic mistake one summer.

The use of an amateur cast gets us, the audience, into a mindset where this could be a real small town. Indeed, because they are not actors, they probably "act" more naturally in certain circumstances.

I am not going to attempt a thorough review here, because I think there is much that can be said and I do not want to say anything without deeper thought. Clearly a race aspect exists, as does a class aspect. There is some discussion of who or what a hero can be.

And then, how does this film relate to the 1960s' Clu Gulager film? There is much to consider.

Reviewed by Steve Pulaski 10 / 10

A filmmaker couldn't ask for a better debut

Nothing could've prepared me for the depressing qualities of David Gordon Green's quiet masterwork George Washington. The film operates with such simplicity, yet such brave, unrefined naturalism that it becomes almost too much for your system to handle and processing it becomes more and more of a challenge. If there is a sadder, more minimalistic film out there I don't want to see it anytime soon.

George Washington meshes the desolate loneliness of Gummo, the close friendships of Stand By Me, and the realism of teens from Kids and puts it to the backdrop of the urban decay shown in Boyz N The Hood. However, the film never feels like a cheap copy of any of those films. They share the same themes, function with similar imagery and auteur-like craft, but in no way do they feel like cheap replications of great cinema from years past. Green manages to infuse his own portrait of a decaying setting and successfully combine it with the pristine acting of the child actors and the beautifully haunting cinematography to make one of the best films I've seen this summer.

The film revolves around four friends - Buddy, George, Sonya, and Vernon - all of whom are around twelve years old and live in the dilapidated urban area of North Carolina. They spend their days wandering around town, talking aimlessly amongst themselves, or just watching life passing them by, not taking advantage of its opportunities because the landscape is such a desolate roadblock to anywhere. One day, tragedy strikes and is inflicted by the titular character, a troubled soul already due to a skull-condition that greatly limits physical contact with friends. The four must now learn to cope with tragedy and deal with a situation like adults, when no one adults have given them any practical guidance or life advice in their lives.

The film is almost totally plot less. Even when the tragedy strikes, not much is predicated off of it. The entire film isn't directly encapsulated off of that instance, and goes on to develop long after it happens, showing more and more problems the characters faced even before this happened. Consider George, who now lives with the thought that his lack of human interaction practically sheltered him in life and now he has the notion that when he does engage in contact it'll end badly. Vernon must now live with the nudging thought that nobody really cared about what happened. Sonya remarks how she has the inability to feel, even after something as serious as what just happened. She is an unmoved child, likely made that way by a bleak landscape with little opportunities and little order from parents. And Buddy is now crushed after his girlfriend just left him. I wanted to hug each one of these characters for an obscenely amount of time.

That is because David Gordon Green knows how to make a story like this progress with subtly and poetic tendencies. The poetry on display comes largely from Tim Orr's cinematography, which is beautiful in the sense that is shows heat, decay, isolation, loneliness, sadness, and fear more than any screenplay could. When Green allows Orr's cinematography to do the talking and places the characters in the background is when George Washington is its strongest. I never thought I'd say something like that, being a lover of relatable, fully fleshed-out characters and extensive dialog.

The less said about George Washington thematically the better. It's a film with minimalism just elaborate enough to make a point but just ambiguous enough to encourage thought and contemplation. Within the next few weeks, I will make it a priority to explore more of David Gordon Green's filmography; George Washington is the best start any filmmaker could ask for.

Starring: Candace Evanofski, Donald Holden, and Paul Schneider. Directed by: David Gordon Green.

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