George Washington

Thing move slower in the South. Life passes by at a slower clip and people have more time. Sometimes too much time. George Washington, the new film by David Gordon Green, plays out like a dream. It is less a movie and more an experience. The scenes wash over the screen slowly, drenching the theater in a slow moving exploration of the mind's of children. Almost nothing happens in the first half-hour of the movie. But George Washington is never boring. It slyly sucks in viewers, who can almost feel the humidity sapping the energy from them.

Green doesn't use actors. He uses actual children, so it seems more like watching people instead of watching a movie. Candace Evanofski, Donald Holden, Curtis Cotton III, and Eddie Rouse give strong performances not by acting, but just by doing. The children live in a depressed town where nobody seems to be doing anything. The kids wander around during the day, stealing cars, playing in abandoned buildings, and anything else to pass the time. There are people who work, but even they do not seem to be doing anything. Adding to the disquieting sense of false serenity is Green's sparse use of dialogue. The people seem almost reluctant to speak at times, preferring silence to conversation.

The pivotal moment in George Washington comes when an accident happens, causing the death of one of the children. The remainder of the movie deals with how the other children come to terms with the death. It is not a pretty sight. These children have no idea how to deal with anything as serious as death. Each has a different reaction, but all of them flounder while trying to deal with things their own way. They simply cannot cope with the circumstances. Green also does not disappoint with a cliche ending. George Washington may not be the most comfortable movie, but it is a compelling one.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.
1 hour, 30 minutes, Not Rated, but contains mature elements, would probably be a PG-13 or possibly an R.

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