Adam Driver’s 1st Feature Film: “Not Waving But Drowning” (2012)

This movie (focused on female friendship) was written/directed by a young woman, Devyn Waitt. We first see a short film titled The Most Girl Part of You, based on a short story by Amy Hempel. In the days following his mother’s suicide, a teen boy named Big Guy (Ryan Munzert) and his BFF Amy (Lili Reinhart- one of the stars of Riverdale), begin to see each other in new ways. This story is dark, yet also sweet, perhaps reminding one of first love. The second story is about moving away from family, becoming distant from an old friend, and trying to make a new life.

One summer, blonde/bubbly Adele (Vanessa Ray) leaves her small town in Florida for NYC. She’d grown tired of her boring job and the (married) man who’d been chasing her. Her brunette/reserved BFF, Sara (Megan Guinan), stays behind. Adele has a small/crappy apt in a neighborhood that looks a BIT sketchy. One of her young neighbors, Kim (Isabelle McNally), wants to be her friend. Adele (though she has gone to college) can ONLY get a job cleaning a high-rise office building. Adam (Adam Driver) is her co-worker; this isn’t a big role, but it’s an important one.

After a huge pile-up on the freeway, Sara’s cop father (Scott Bryce from As the World Turns) becomes anxious/depressed. He thinks it’s too dangerous for Sara to drive her old car; she uses her bike instead. Sara starts work at a local retirement home where she monitors the hallways and teaches art. She meets Sylvia (Lynn Cohen- best known as Magda on SATC), an older woman who flouts the rules. It turns out that Sylvia also lived in NYC and had many adventures in her young life.

Feeling lonely/bored, Adele decides to go drinking/clubbing w/ Kim. They end up on a rooftop w/ a small group; it looks like everyone is having fun. Adele and one of the young men end up kissing, then he sexually assaults her (she’s scared/verbally protests). Sadly, she can’t bring herself to confide in anyone (certainly NOT her much younger sister- or even- Sara)! Adele is V curious re: the man who leaves late at night; she sneaks into his office and starts writing on his computer. She wants to be a journalist, she tells Adam.

Finding people you can trust is often tough in a new/big city. Adam is kind, honest, and a good friend to Adele. He has longish hair and wears tees, shorts, and a messenger bag. After Kim and her friends steal beer and cigarettes from a bodega, Adam pays the clerk. He looks disappointed as he tells Adele that she doesn’t need to hang out w/ people like that. After a few mins, she returns to where he was waiting nearby. Adele decides to go on a “day date” w/ Adam in Central Park. (FYI: This is Driver’s 1st feature-length film; it was shot about 4-5 yrs before it got released.) In Frances Ha, BOTH Ray and McNally have small roles (where they act alongside Driver). You can see this movie on YouTube.

[1] Firstly, the acting was superior to many other mainstream movies… In addition, the thoughtful plot provided refreshing insight into character development for this coming of age story.

[2] Regardless of your generation or gender, there’s much to appreciate in this film about two young women moving from their adolescent lives into the wider world. […]

The characters develop through multiple experiences that are sometimes uncomfortable or worse. Yet, overall there’s so much energy, humor, and truth that the film feels very balanced. The editing and music are dynamic and keep the viewer highly engaged.

[3] I very much related to this amazingly accurate portrayal of what it’s like to move to New York to “begin your life”. It deals so well with the divide between what you want/expect and what the real world is actually like. The visuals are great…

-Excerpts from IMDb reviews

“Logan Lucky” (2017) starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, & Daniel Craig

See how the other half steals. -A tag line for the movie

When Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is fired from his mining job, he convinces his younger sibs- brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and sister Mellie (Riley Keough, Elvis’ granddaughter)- to help him rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a NASCAR event. They will need the help of Joe Bang (Daniel Craig w/ bleached blonde hair), a convicted safe-cracker who’s currently incarcerated. They have to break Joe out, blow the racetrack vault, get away w/ the cash, return Joe to prison, and get Jimmy to his daughter Sadie’s (Farrah Mackenzie) beauty pageant on time. What could go wrong!? Well, there is the Logan family curse… 

Joe: You Logans must be as simple-minded as people say.

Clyde & Jimmy: People say that?

This movie is Tatum’s 4th collab w/ director Steven Soderbergh; they worked on Haywire (2011), Magic Mike (2012), and Side Effects (2013). Keough also appeared on Magic Mike; Soderbergh directed her in S1 of the STARZ TV series The Girlfriend Experience (I saw S1). One interviewee on the news refers to the heist as “Ocean’s Seven-Eleven” re: the Ocean’s film franchise (3 of these movies were directed by Soderbergh). Several NASCAR drivers have cameos, incl. Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip (who I recognized). Moody Chapman (David Denman- a tall/burly character actor) is the 2nd hubby of Bobby Jo (Katie Holmes); he has a V different look from his recent role as Kate Winslet’s ex-hubby on Mare of Eastown (HBO).

Jimmy: We need, like, a computer wiz, like one of them Facebook boys.

Fish: I know everything there is to know about computers, okay?

Jimmy: Do you?

Fish: All the Twitters, I know ’em.

Clyde’s arm was blown off during his deployment in Iraq. Driver was supposed to deploy to Iraq, but he broke his sternum in a biking accident, so was medically discharged from the Marines. I learned that the silver/horseshoe-shaped ring worn by Cyde was the same ring worn by Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) in the TV series Justified (2010). Fish Bang (Sam Quaid) is now nearly 30; he’s the son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. One of my younger friends said to check him out on The Boys (Amazon Prime), esp. IF you enjoy a twist on the superhero/sci-fi genre. Do some of y’all feel old yet!? Domhnall Gleeson says he was jealous of younger bro Brian (who plays Sam Bang) as he got to “hang out” w/ Driver. Domhnall played Gen. Hux in the recent Star Wars sequels w/ Driver. Brian’s face is similar to their father, Brendan, a veteran character actor. Warden Burns (Dwight Yoakam- country singer/actor) provides humor (esp. for the GoT fans). Remember when Yoakam and Sharon Stone were a couple? Hilary Swank has a role here also, BUT she doesn’t come in until later in the movie.

Warden Burns: As warden, I can approve buying a copy of A Dance With Dragons for the prison library to go up on the Game of Thrones shelf. Now, the only problem is that The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring have yet to be published, so those aren’t available. Well, I can’t do anything about what I can’t control.

Driver (super fit w/ his Star Wars body/longish hair) and Tatum (a BIT bigger than usual) have easy chemistry; Clyde often looks at Jimmy before he speaks/makes a decision. Before filming, Driver (whose father’s side comes from Arkansas) said he went to Tatum’s (who grew up in West Virginia) house at 4PM; they hung out until almost 4AM -wow! Like Jimmy, Tatum played football in his youth. In one scene, Clyde (a bartender) makes a martini for Max Chiblain (Seth MacFarlane) using one hand. Like many young actors, Driver worked as a waiter: “I wasn’t a very good waiter. I remember this one fancy restaurant- they pushed me toward the bar.” The Southern accents in the movie sounded (mostly) natural. The serious/relatable themes of economic uncertainty, fairness, family obligations, and patriotism run underneath the story. Several viewers/critics noted that they enjoyed the touching relationship between Jimmy and Sadie; he is trying to be a good dad by being an active participant in her life.

[1] The names and faces associated with this film give the feeling of it being a bigger event that it probably is. I was fortunate to approach it without knowing too much about it, so I took it as I found it. This is for the better because the film is quite a simple affair in what it does.

[2] Tatum is perhaps questionable, but reasonable as the lead, Driver is good, and Craig is likeable as he puts on an American accent and looks like he’s having fun. This caper has some amusing moments, with prison and NASCAR scenes that add to it a little as well, the script is made up of one-liners, and it gets your attention at the right moments, an alright crime comedy. Worth watching!

[3] I was pleasantly surprised that the movie doesn’t dwell on mocking Southern stereotypes, and the NASCAR elements are kept largely in the background. The performances are good, with Tatum and Driver making for believable blank-faced losers who are maybe a bit sharper than they let on. Craig gets the showiest part… […] better than expected, and an enjoyable time for those not expecting too much.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

Adam Driver’s “Law & Order” Episodes

Law & Order (S20, E15): Brilliant Disguise (March 8, 2010)

After a young woman, Justine, is found brutally murdered in a hotel and her body stashed away on a food service cart, evidence leads Detectives Cyrus Lupo and Kevin Bernard to a young med student. When a crafty lawyer, Ray Backlund, becomes involved, the detectives realize that it is going to take more than superficial evidence to put the murderer behind bars. This quickly becomes a case of mind over matter. -Synopsis from NBC

This ep (which I saw for the 1st time last month) is based on the Craigslist Killer (Philip Markoff) who targeted escorts in hotel rooms in 2009; like his fictional counterpart, he also was engaged. This appears to borrow elements of the 2009 murder of Yale graduate student Annie Le. A suspect and coworker of hers, Ray Clark, was convicted of the homicide. Clark was a lab tech who became extremely angry when his colleagues left mouse and rat cages filthy. He also had a fiancee who was possessive/bossy. This is an interesting story about a perpetrator who thinks he’s much smarter than anyone else. I haven’t seen many eps which paired Det. Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) w/ Det. Bernard (Anthony Anderson); I’m a fan of Anderson from other series (he can do BOTH drama and comedy well).

It turns out that Justine had a secret life as an escort which her mom in Richmond, VA, knew nothing about. Initially, the detectives get it wrong when they arrest Robby Vickery (Adam Driver), a lab tech at Chelsea University who lets women assume that he’s a med student. In fact, other evidence points to Alex Conway (Daniel Eric Gold), an arrogant grad student w/ gambling addiction. To Alex, the escorts he picks up are like the lab rats Robby works w/- scary! Alex is clever, as is his defense attorney, Ray Backlund (Timothy Busfield). Also, Alex’s wealthy fiancee, Carrie Newton (Jess Weixler), is willing to do anything to help his case.

Getting a job on the L&O series was a rite of passage for up-and-coming/NYC-based actors. Driver does well in his role; this show originally aired several mos. after he graduated from Julliard in 2009. He shows Robby’s unassuming/charming side (in the opener w/ Justine); she gives him her number and wants to go out to brunch w/ him over the weekend. Then, we see Robby’s insecurity/vulnerability when detectives come to his lab. When they question him at the precinct, we see the creepy behavior he has engaged in (though exclaiming “I respect women”). As the evidence against him is circumstantial, it was the smart move to ask for a lawyer. It took me a few weeks, BUT I learned that this is where “feed the rats on time” comes from (in the Driver fan community)- LOL!

Law & Order: SVU (S13, E11): Theater Tricks (January 11, 2012)

SVU tries to figure out who was responsible for the real-life rape of an actress during an interactive theater performance that everybody just assumed was part of the show.

This is a weird/shocking case (even by SVU standards- IF you’re familiar w/ the series); I didn’t remember seeing it when it originally aired. There are several notable guest stars (along w/ Driver): Gibert Gottfried (a police computer expert), Grant Shaud (a theater critic), Kevin Pollak (a judge w/ a secret love life), and Fisher Stevens (a controlling director). The victim is Meghan Weller (Jenn Proske), a V pretty/eager-to-please young woman who moved to NYC 6 mos. ago from a small town in Minnesota. She is stunned that such a horrible thing could happen; she was so happy/excited to get her 1st role. The men around Meghan ALL seem to be problematic in some way, BUT who is the ultimate villain!?

Jason Roberts (Adam Driver) isn’t the rapist here, BUT he is a creepy stalker. Meghan calls him her “computer guy” who “seemed harmless.” Jason is obsessed w/ Meghan, has pics of her all over his bedroom, has seen her play 12 times, and installed hidden cameras in her apt. Now some of you L&O diehards (or those studying law) will realize that everything found in that room is inadmissible as evidence. Det. Rollins didn’t have Estelle Roberts’ permission to enter her son’s room; also his door was closed (violating the plain view doctrine), so they had no probable cause or warrant. Meghan (using her acting skills) convinces Jason to meet her at a cafe; Det. Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) and Det. Rollins (Kelli Giddish) can arrest him.

Jason: If I was gonna set up Meghan, I’ve got images that are a lot hotter. See?

[shows the detectives the images]

Det. Rollins: Really? Jason, you just made bail on a surveillance charge.

When Jason is initially questioned in the interrogation room, we see the (twisted) “love” he has for Meghan. He looks shocked to learn of what exactly happened to her during the play; his eyes are full of concern (almost as if going to cry). In Jason’s mind, the cameras were “for her protection,” as she’s “naive” and “trusting.” It turns out that the video footage he captured from the play (and other instances) could be helpful in solving the case! This is a bigger/more interesting role for Driver than in his previous L&O ep. I was impressed by how he made this character (somewhat) sympathetic and even a BIT humorous (see Ice T’s reactions). You also see his quirky physicality. It would’ve been great IF he’d gotten to have a scene w/ Lt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay).

Adam Driver behind them scenes of “SVU.”

“Paterson” (2016) starring Adam Driver & Golshifteh Farahani

Beauty is often found in the smallest details. -A tag line for the movie

This indie film by writer/director Jim Jarmusch shows us a week in the life of a young man, Paterson (Adam Driver), living in Paterson, NJ. He lives a routine life, even waking up at exactly the same time almost every day w/o an alarm. He eats Cheerios for breakfast, walks to work (carrying a lunchbox packed by his gf), has a chat w/ co-worker Donny (Rizwan Manji- an Indian-American character actor), then starts his shift driving the #23 bus. After work, Paterson eats dinner w/ gf Laura (Golshifteh Farahani- an Iranian actress now based in Paris) and listens to the things she has done in her day. He takes Laura’s English bulldog (Marvin) out for a walk to the neighborhood bar; he has one beer and chats w/ the barkeeper, Doc (veteran character actor Barry Shabaka Henley). Two other regulars at the bar are going through a break-up; Marie (Chasten Harmon- in her film debut) says it is over, but her ex-bf Everett (William Jackson Harper from Midsommar) says he wants her back. Laura mentions a dream in which she had twins; Paterson encounters twins throughout his week. Paterson’s keen observances are the basis for the poems he writes (in his secret notebook) whenever he has a spare moment. Something that happens this week has the potential to knock his world into a tailspin.

Laura: Did you ever hear of the old Italian poet called… Petrarch? Is that it?

Paterson: Mmm, Petrarch. He perfected the sonnet.

Laura: I read online that one of his early books of poems was called The Secret Book, just like yours.

Paterson: I didn’t know that! You read that. You just happened upon it online.

Laura: And also that he wrote all his love poems to a beautiful girl called… ta da! Laura!

A woman named Laura was the muse of Petrarch, BUT she wasn’t his wife and they had limited contact, if any at all. The poems here came from Ron Padgett, one of Jarmusch’s favorite contemporary poets, who agreed to write the poems for the film and let Jarmusch use some of his pre-existing work as well. Driver underwent training to get the commercial driver’s license (CDL)! He wanted to be able to be on “auto pilot” while driving the bus; this also meant the film could feature more authentic footage, opening up for a variety of shots. He was taught over a period of 3 mos. on the busy streets of Queens, passing the test a week before filming. On the bed stand, there is a photo of a younger Paterson, during his military service; this is an actual picture of Driver from his time in the Marines. The man working out a rap song in the laundromat is Cliff Smith (AKA Method Man), a member of Wu Tang Clan. Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman both made their debuts in the Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (2012); they’re the college kids on the bus discussing anarchy.

Everett: You love somebody, more than anything in the whole damn world. You… worship her. You don’t wanna be alive without her, and… she says she doesn’t want you. You’re just… dirt.

Doc: Damn brother! You should be an actor.

Everett: [nods] I am… an actor.

[Paterson turns his head away and tries not to laugh.]

Paterson is a character-driven film; the theme (as Jarmusch commented) is the “poetry in everyday life.” The first thing I noticed was the gentle/loving/respectful relationship between Paterson and Laura. We don’t know how long they’ve been together, BUT they’re a warm and compatible couple. There is great chemistry between Driver and Farahani (who has been acting since she was a teen in Iran); you feel like they’re in love! Paterson is a good listener, while Laura is more of a talker. She has many interests: decorating/painting (esp. the black/white aesthetic), playing guitar (so maybe she could be a country singer), and baking cupcakes (to sell at the farmers market). Laura wants Paterson to share his poems w/ the world, BUT he’s hesitant. As Jarmusch noted at Cannes Film Festival, he put aspects of the actors into their characters. Also, he wanted to show that ordinary people (w/ 9-5 jobs) can choose to be creative. I liked the ending scene between Paterson and the visiting Japanese poet. If you need a quiet, low stakes, and unique film to watch- check this out!

Independent cinema is more thoughtful, delicate. While Western blockbusters can have their own kind of delicateness, it’s not delicate enough. You have to be ready to compromise to enter that field. I will do so only if it’s worth it. -Farahani on her preference for indie films

I had to tell people I was not born with a scarf because I came out of Iran. People think you came out of your mother with a scarf; they can’t imagine that the scarf is not stuck to your head. -Farahani on assumptions re: women from Muslim countries

Farahani is the 1st star (after the 1979 Iranian revolution) to act in a major Hollywood production: Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies (2008) w/ Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. After the role of Aisha (a nurse/love interest of DiCaprio’s character), she was banned from leaving Iran in February 2008, on her way to London to make a screen test for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010). This was only reported 6 mos later when Farahani could leave the country. She has been based in Paris for many years and speaks fluent English, French, and Farsi. At the Cannes press events, Farahani spoke French when journos weren’t comfortable w/ English. I noticed that several of her films are available on Amazon Prime; I may check out soon.

[1] The movie is just a character study of a gentle and honest man just finding his own path through life, one week at a time. The script and situations also provide an appropriate amount of humor.

[2] The movie is meditative, contemplative, and soothing. An offbeat treat, as per usual, for Jarmusch, and lovers of art, poetry, and low-key expressionism are likely to like this diversion from the cinema of the everyday.

Others, will need patience and acquire an appreciation for the minimal.

[3] Driver was a really good casting choice. …I quite like him as an actor and he has that whole subtlety thing going for him as he really shines when playing rather quiet characters.

[4] Paterson is one of those movies that I think captures something inherently true about the discontentment present in most everyone’s life, whether or not they want to admit it’s there. Routines aren’t necessarily bad, and one can build a quite content and even intermittently happy life out of simple pleasures, but it’s the rare person who doesn’t spend a good portion of his/her life wondering how much happier he/she might have been if she had taken it in a different direction.

-Excerpts from IMBD reviews

Re-watching Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” (2018) starring John David Washington & Adam Driver

When producer Jordan Peele first pitched “Black man infiltrates Ku Klux Klan” to Spike Lee, Lee thought it might be a Dave Chappelle skit, until Peele assured him the story was authentic. For Lee, the story was too outrageous to ignore. He had a few conditions for directing: incl. comedic elements, and drawing parallels w/ contemporary racial issues. When Lee was a young student at NYU Film School, he was so outraged that professors taught the 1915 movie Birth of a Nation (w/ no mention of its racist message or its role in the Klan’s 20th century rebirth). He made The Answer (1980) as a response; many professors took great offense and Lee was nearly expelled. Lee was saved by a faculty vote; after his success as a filmmaker, he became a professor there and also Artistic Director of the Graduate Film Department. The film is dedicated to Heather Heyer, a young/idealistic white woman who was killed in hit-and-run at the “Unite the Right” rally on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, VA. The film opened in the US on August 10, 2018 to mark the 1st anniversary of the rally/her death. Lee received a six-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival- wow! He also became the 2nd Black American to be nominated at the Academy Awards for producing, writing and directing in the same year.

Patrice: Are you down for the liberation of black people?

Ron: Power to the people.

Patrice: All power to all the people.

Ron: That’s right, Sista.

In the early 1970s, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington- oldest son of Denzel/former football player) is hired as the 1st Black officer in the Colorado Springs, CO police department. Ron (a real person) is a college grad from a military family who wants to make a difference in his community. He’s assigned to the records room, where he is faced w/ micro-aggressions and even openly racist remarks from others. Master Patrolman Andy Landers (Frederick Weller) is one of the uniformed cops who doesn’t hide his dislike of Blacks. Ron (who wears an Afro and knows “jive”) soon requests to go undercover. His immediate supervisor, Sgt. Trapp (Ken Garito), is supportive of Ron. Chief Bridges (John David Burke) is surprised by the bold move, but agrees. Ron is assigned to infiltrate a rally where civil rights leader, Kwame Ture AKA Stokely Carmichael (Corey Hawkins- recently played Macduff opposite Denzel in The Tragedy of Macbeth), is to give a speech. Ture was considered “radical” as he was a Black Panther; he had organized “The Freedom Rides” a few years earlier to register Black voters in the South. Two experienced undercover cops, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) and Jimmy Creek (Michael Buscemi- younger brother of Steve), listen in from a surveillance van nearby. In line for the rally, Ron meets a young woman named Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), the president of the Black Student Union at Colorado College. This is a fictional character created for the movie; she is smart, articulate, and a challenging love interest for Ron. He hears Ture’s speech (very strong/impassioned); Hawkins provides gravitas to this small role.

Sgt. Trapp (to Ron): You know the way to sell hate? Affirmative action, immigration, crime, tax reform… He [David Duke] says, no one wants to be called a bigot anymore because Archie Bunker made that too uncool. So, the idea is under all these issues… everyday Americans can accept it. Support it. Until eventually, one day he gets somebody in the White House that embodies it.

The police don’t seem concerned w/ the Klan at this time; they think there is no activity locally. One day, Ron sees an ad in the paper, and calls up the number complaining re: Black people. He soon gets a return call from KKK’s Grand Wizard- and future politician- David Duke (Topher Grace)! Playing such a loathsome role posed a challenge for Grace, leading the actor to feel depressed. The men of “The Organization” (the term they use) are archetypes we’ve seen before; they’d be the type to vote for Trump (if around in recent years). Walter Breachway (Ryan Eggold) is the genial/clean-cut guy who quickly builds a rapport w/ Flip (posing as Ron in-person). Felix Kendrickson (Jasper Paakkonen- who is actually Finnish) is the wild-eyed/hot-tempered one whose plus-size wife, Connie (Ashlie Atkinson- recently seen on And Just Like That and The Gilded Age) wants to get involved in his cause. Ivanhoe (Paul Walter Hauser) is the fat, dim-witted younger man (looking to the others for guidance/approval). Felix has a collection of firearms; he suspects that Flip is Jewish (raising the tension/potential for danger).

Flip: For you it’s a crusade. For me it’s a job.

Ron: You’re Jewish. They hate you. Doesn’t that piss you off? Why are you acting like you don’t got skin in the game?

One of the key themes of this movie is duality; Ron and Patrice even have a conversation re: “double consciousness” on one of their dates. Double consciousness is the internal conflict experienced by subordinated or colonized groups in an oppressive society. The term and the idea were first published in W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk (1903). Originally, double consciousness was specifically the psychological challenge African Americans experienced of “always looking at one’s self through the eyes” of a racist white society and “measuring oneself by the means of a nation that looked back in contempt.” The term also referred to Du Bois’s experiences of reconciling his African heritage w/ an upbringing in a European-dominated society. Ron is a Black man living in a racist society; he is also a police officer (so part of “the system”). Flip is Jewish (has a Star of David necklace), but he didn’t grow up w/ the rituals and traditions (and always considered himself “white”). However, getting embedded w/ the KKK, Flip finally has to grapple w/ his religious heritage and the prejudice faced by Jewish people. Lee co-wrote the script w/ his (frequent) collaborator, Kevin Wilmott and two Jewish co-writers who served as producers (Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz).

Flip (to Ron): I’m Jewish, but I wasn’t raised to be. It wasn’t part of my life, I never thought much about being Jewish, nobody around me was Jewish. I wasn’t going to a bunch of Bar Mitzvahs, I didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah. I was just another white kid. And now I’m in some basement denying it out loud. (He chuckles low.) I never thought much about it, now I’m thinking about it all the time. About rituals and heritage. Is that passing? Well then I have been passing.

He’s a beast! Game respects game. -Lee re: working w/ Driver

For Driver fans, there is much to admire: the quiet intensity, close-ups of his profile (quite striking), and his restrained swagger. His hair is longer than most cops and he wears casual clothes (plaid shirts, sheepskin jacket, and jeans). Flip is a really good shot (can handle himself in tough situations) and projects a laid-back personality. As Flip interacts more w/ the Klan, it takes a toll (focus on the eyes). There are a few light moments in the film between the cops; these are needed to cut the tension created by the serious subject material. Driver was nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. There is much more to see/discuss; check it out yourself! I saw it at a free screening when it came out in theaters, then saw it again (Amazon Prime) a few weeks ago.

[1] BlacKkKlansman, is great movie, that manages to be thought provoking and funny at the same time. The cinematography is excellent. The only issue I had with this movie was the pacing, but nothing major. Oh, forgot to mention, great ending as well!

[2] There are aspects that feels too artificial which detracts from the tension. The subject matter requires the movie to be more real. At times, Spike Lee pushes into satire territories but nevertheless, it is still one of his better recent movies.

[3] Lee’s film takes liberties with the actual true events. It starts off as a satirical drama. Lee however in unable to resist being heavy-handed with his message…

The film benefits greatly from the performances by John David Washington and Adam Driver.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

Q&A w/ the cast, director, & Ron Stallworth: