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George Washington

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: George Washington

Starring: Candace Evanofski, Donald Holden
Director: David Gordon Green
Rated: NR
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: October 2000
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Curtis Cotton III, Rachael Handy, Janet Taylor, Eddie Rouse, Damian Lee, Paul Schneider

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

Let's start by clearing up one point. First-time writer/director David Gordon Green's GEORGE WASHINGTON is not about the father of our country. In fact, the movie isn't about much of anything, which you will find out if you can manage to stay awake. With its minimal plot and acting, there aren't any characters worth caring much about even though the director tries hard to pull on our heart-strings with some contrived tragedies. Although one can assume that the production had a written script, it feels like something from a junior college improvisational group.

Set in a graffiti-filled, rural South that looks like an inner city ghetto, the story wants badly to be the next STAND BY ME. As the story's enigmatic lead, 12-year-old George, Donald Holden delivers an exceptionally bland performance. George has a baby-like head, so he wears a football helmet since an accidental blow to the head might kill him.

The central and only substantial incident occurs in a bathroom where one of the kids slips and cracks his skull during some innocent horseplay. Incongruously, the other kids just stare at him. They don't appear upset, and they don't take him for medical help. Eventually, they decide to move the dead body but do a terrible job of hiding it. This is all so unbelievably written and acted that it is almost impossible to have much sympathy or concern for the kids, even the dead one. Watching it is like observing some little children play acting on the street.

The movie's saving grace, to the extent that it has one, is Tim Orr's vibrant, rust-colored cinematography. At its best, it evokes the lush sort of images found in THE THIN RED LINE.

Declining an offer to come to a girl's house, George tells her, "I just ain't got nothing to say." And neither does the movie.

GEORGE WASHINGTON runs a long 1:29. It is not rated but might be PG-13 for mature themes and violent images and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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