Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Smart People [2008]

Denis Quaid plays a middle-aged widower and literature professor whose intellect and arrogance cause him to isolate himself and insult the people around him. His students and colleagues can't stand him, nor can his own son. The only close relationship he has is with his daughter, his protege in elitism, played by Ellen Page of Juno [2007]. When his burnout adopted brother, hilariously acted by Thomas Haden Church of Sideways [2004], comes to stay with him and Quaid himself meets and falls in love with a former student turned doctor (Sarah Jessica Parker), he is forced to reevaluate his outlook on life.

This movie is one of the best movies I've seen in quite some time and shows Denis Quaid at his best, in the same vein as his more meaningful roles like Everybody's All American [1988]. The acting is very down to Earth in this movie. I also love the subtle shots of Pittsburgh which give a sort of aesthetic quaintness to the film that is vert true to the city of Pittsburgh. The idea of the movie is something that probably most people who read indie music blogs can relate to on some level-- elitism and also the often conflicting relationship between the intellect and the heart. Ultimately Quaid's character learns to soften his positions a bit and put some of his ideas aside for the sake of the people around him. This movie comes out for rental in mid August.

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