20 June 2003 | TxMike
Fine film of Arthur Miller novel.
For many, perhaps Arthur Miller is most famous for his 4 1/2 years married to Marilyn Monroe. For me, it is his Death of a Salesman for which I did a lengthy report as a college assignment in the mid-60s. I had never heard of Focus, and it is a movie that few have seen. An interesting premise, well-executed. His WASP-ish everyman character in 1943 (during the war) comes under attack after he gets a pair of new eyeglasses, which apparently makes him "look Jewish." His Americanism is questioned, his garbage is overturned, is forced to quit his job, he gets thrown out of a union rally when he fails to stand up and clap, he and his wife get roughed up by thugs on the street at night. The film is an examination of our tolerance for prejudicial treatment of others, then our own reaction towards such treatment.
The critic Ebert has a fine and complete review. William Macy, David Paymer, Laura Dern, and Meat Loaf Aday are all fine in their roles. A worthwhile 106 minutes of thought-provoking entertainment. The DVD, which was a free loan from my local library, has a sharp picture and good use of DD 5.1 sound. There is a very interesting extra which includes Arthur Miller discussing his book and the movie.