Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'Indignation' is an oasis of summer movie intelligence

After success as a producer and Ang Lee's favorite screenwriter, James Schamus makes an impressive directing debut with Indignation, an oasis of summer movie intelligence.

Based on Philip Roth's novel, Indignation is the story of Marcus Messner, who is, like many Roth protagonists, young, Jewish and sexually curious. Marcus is the son of a Brooklyn butcher and put-upon mother, escaping to a small, mostly gentile Ohio college in 1951. He's a bright student, perhaps too aware of usually being the smartest person in the room. Grades come first, with sociability lagging behind.

Prejudice is veiled, casual and not limited to gentile students. There's one Jewish fraternity on campus, but a couple of that faith aren't cool enough to join. Mandatory student gatherings are held in a Christian chapel, and nothing in the cafeteria is kosher. No problem; Marcus is an athiest, drawing suspicion from college dean Caudwell (Tracy Letts).

Then Marcus meets Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), whose first-date sexuality throws him for a loop. It's so casual that she must have done this before. Olivia's past slowly emerges, Marcus' grades drop, and in a remarkably literate, extended scene, he and dean Caudwell draw academic battle lines. This scene and Letts' part in the episodic Wiener-Dog, also opening this weekend (review at tbtim.es/14xp), are the actor-playwright's two-part essay on misused authority.

As Marcus, Logan Lerman confirms his place among our finest young actors, a hunch proposed by The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Fury. Lerman projects a unique sensitivity, even when playing someone as callous as Marcus can be. He doesn't have that modern aura some actors bring to period pieces to make them less convincing. With a narrative this slight, Lerman quietly commands our attention, and empathy falls in line.

Schamus directs his own adapted screenplay without fuss, allowing his actors space to find the foibles between their lines. Indignation can be considered a highbrow college sex dramedy of sorts, the kind only an irreverent intellect like Roth's could concoct.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

Comments
Watch the first trailer for ‘Creed 2’ … and rejoice

Watch the first trailer for ‘Creed 2’ … and rejoice

There are very few things Hollywood gets right these days when it comes to making sequels from the movies of our generation. Thankfully, Rocky movies are one of the good things. And the very first trailer for Creed 2 – the newest sequel –...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Miss Vanjie talks her ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ exit, memes, drag roots

Miss Vanjie talks her ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ exit, memes, drag roots

Tampa might have the worst track record when it comes to contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race.Both queens who hail from the Cigar City were eliminated right away during their seasons. Alisa Summers was the first boot on Season 4 in 2012. Then on Season ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

The best of what's on stage across Tampa Bay this week.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Food events: Wine dinners, ancient drinking games and Filipino food

Food events: Wine dinners, ancient drinking games and Filipino food

This week's best food events across Tampa Bay.
Updated: 7 hours ago
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and heist caper ‘American Animals’

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and heist caper ‘American Animals’

What are you going to see?
Updated: 7 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 21

Go Skateboarding Day: June 21 is the worldwide Go Skateboard Day and there’s free skateboarding all day at the skate park with free barbecue and a trick challenge. 8 a.m., Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 621-6793; ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Ticket window: Comedy Get Down, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Gladys Knight and more

Ticket window: Comedy Get Down, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Gladys Knight and more

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week: • Comedy Get Down with Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez, 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, $25-$125, on sale at 10 a.m....
Updated: 10 hours ago
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanIt’s been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But he’s about to make up for lost time. On Saturday he’ll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: Hollywood MediumTyler Henry, the so-called Hollywood Medium who stars in an eponymous E! hit show, is coming to town with a live show called "Life Lessons I Have Learned From the Departed." The soft-spoken 22-year-old has done readings f...
Updated: 12 hours ago