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Indignation Book Review

Among the recommendations that are often quoted to writers, one of the most well-known is to write what you know.

Philip Roth was raised in Newark, New Jersey and famously used his fiction to write about his experience growing up in the years during and after World War II.

In his 2008 novel, Indignation, Marcus Messner is a young man who has been raised by his second generation Jewish parents in Newark in the early 1950’s. After completing his first year of college at a local university, Marcus is ready to spread his proverbial wings. But his father, who owns his own butcher shop is increasingly becoming a helicopter parent. To get away from his father, Marcus enrolls in Winesburg College, a small university in Ohio. At school Marcus is slowly becoming a rebel. He is starts dating Olivia Hutton , a young woman who carries her own emotional baggage, in addition to not sharing Marcus’s religious faith.

Can Marcus find his own way in the world or will he follow the path that has been laid out before him?

This book is amazing. What makes it stand out for me is that his journey feels normal for a kid in their late teens or early 20’s. That period of life, as I remember it be, is a period of exploration and discovering your own identity as a human being.

I recommend it.

 

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The Best Movies Of 2016

It’s that time of year, the annual movie review. The movies listed below are the best of the best (in my humble opinion) of 2016.

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: This movie is a dream come true for any Star Wars fan. A prequel to Episode 4,  it abuts to the beginning of A New Hope and explains how the plans for the death star landed in the hands of the rebels. Starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, it is the perfect addition to the Star Wars franchise.
  2. Arrival: Arrival, starring Amy Adams is not the standard science fiction invasion alien film. It is about being human and dealing with everything that is human, while dealing with extra layer of potentially being invaded by an alien race. It could have been the typical schlockly science fiction film, but it is so much more.
  3. Denial: Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz), a respected historian and professor must prove that the Holocaust happened when she sued for libel. A powerful story of how thin the line is between free speech and hate speech.
  4. Son Of Saul: Son Of Saul is about a Saul (Geza Rohrig), a prisoner in Auschwitz who is able to locate a spark of hope when he finds the body of boy he believes to be his son. A Holocaust film that is without sentiment, it is one of the more powerful Holocaust films that has hit the big screen.
  5. Indignation: Based on the book by Philip Roth, Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman) is a young man of Jewish descent from New Jersey. Instead of going to college close to home, he attends a college in small town Ohio.  Against the backdrop of the Korean War and the sexual and social repression of the 1950’s, Marcus struggles to find himself.
  6. Florence Foster Jenkins: Florence Foster Jenkins is a socialite and an heiress living in New York City in the 1940’s. She has always wanted to be a performer, but her technical abilities don’t match up to her ambitions. A live concert will be a life long dream come true, but it could also be a cold blast of reality.
  7. Love And Friendship: Based on the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) is a widow who decides that its high time to live with her in-laws. While she is chilling under their roof and looking for a husband for her teenage daughter, she may as well find one for herself.

Here’s to the good movies in 2016 and the hopefully good movies that will be released in 2017.

This will be my last post for this year. Have a safe and happy New Year and I will see you in 2017.

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Filed under Books, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Movie Review, Movies, Star Wars

Indignation Movie Review

College, from my experience, at least, is a transitional period in our lives. We are not children anymore, but we are not adults yet either. It is that strange place when we are starting to figure out who we are and what we want out of life.

The new film, Indignation, based on the 2008 book of the same name by respected writer Philip Roth, takes place in 1951.

Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman) is a young man of Jewish descent from Newark, New Jersey. He spends his days working with his father, Max (Danny Burstein) at the butcher shop that bears the family name. Life is about to change for Marcus. He is about to start college at Winesburg College in Winesburg, Ohio.

The first person in his immediate family to attend college, Marcus is looking forward to not just the educational opportunities, but also the distance between college and his father, who is becoming irrational about many things, his son included.

Marcus develops a crush and has a date with Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), one of his classmates. Olivia may appear to be healthy and normal, but underneath, she is dealing with a host of complicated issues. Marcus continues to spend time with Olivia, despite the concerns of his classmates and even his own mother, Esther (Linda Emond).

Set in a time of repression and the expectation to fit in, this film is the story of a young man trying to find his own way. While certain sections of the narrative seemed a little slow, the ending was completely out of left field. I walked out of the movie theater with the thought that my mind was blown.

I recommend it.

Indignation is presently in theaters.

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