Detachment (2011)

Detachment (2011)
  • Time: 97 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Tony Kaye
  • Cast: Adrien Brody, James Caan, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden, Lucy Liu


Detachment is a chronicle of three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes. Henry roams from school to school, imparting modes of knowledge, but never staying long enough to form any semblance of sentient attachment. A perfect profession for one seeking to hide out in the open. One day Henry arrives at his next assignment. Upon his entry into this particular school, a secret world of emotion is awakened within him by three women. A girl named Meredith in his first period. A fellow teacher Ms. Madison, and a street hooker named Erica, whom Henry has personally granted brief shelter from the streets. Each one of these women, like Henry, are in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world.

One comment

  • Detachment is a movie that on the surface deals with problems that teachers face in the public school system. And in many ways, it is a movie about that. However, the subtext involves much greater themes of abandonment, parental responsibility, lost hope and the need for acceptance without judgment. There is no way to escape labeling this film as brilliant. There isn’t a slow spot in the film’s pacing, the acting from the entire cast is astounding and the script is amazingly executed.

    The main character, Henry, a substitute teacher, deals with the death of his mother as a child by care taking for everyone that comes close to him but himself. This dichotomy in his life comes to a head with two young girls that he has reached out to in very different (and dramatic) ways. By trying to give the love that he was denied for years, he has set himself up for a fall (and a rebirth) as both a man and a teacher.

    Anyone who has dealt with public schools as a student and certainly a teacher should watch this.

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