Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Believer (2001) R - 3½ Stars

Boy, I'm really beginning to like Ryan Gosling in movies. He is absolutely outstanding in this role and the movie really sucked me in on his ability alone. A scary look at religious hatred amongst us today while still attaching a human personal look from within. It's most definitely worth the rental for for Gosling's acting alone. Based on the story of Daniel Burrows, a leader of the American Nazi Party, who committed suicide in 1965 after a writer from The New York Times found out he was Jewish and exposed him.

Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling) is Jewish and was a top religious student at his local Yeshiva. At age 22, Danny grows tired of his Jewish beliefs of the Torah and the Old Testament, as when starts questioning God, he's expelled from the temple. Danny transforms himself into the neo-Nazi movement of skinheads led by by Curtis (Billy Zane) and Lina (Theresa Russell).

Danny meets Carla (Summer Phoenix) and falls for her and secretly teaches her a new religion. I don't really get her character and not sure why they even needed her but... His contempt for Jews as well as himself, has him going through some extreme measures and even when the gang breaks into a Jewish temple, Danny struggles to fight for his roots and heritage as he protects the sacred Torah. One thing he can never let them know is that he really is Jewish.

2000 - Believer - Sundance Film Festival - Dramatic Grand Jury Prize.

Fuller Films
Director: Henry Bean
Writer: Henry Bean
Producers: Christopher Roberts, Susan Hoffman
I viewed 12/07

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