Focus (I) (2001)

PG-13   |    |  Drama, Romance


Focus (2001) Poster

In the waning months of World War II, a man and his wife are mistakenly identified as Jews by their anti-Semitic Brooklyn neighbors. Suddenly the victims of religious and racial persecution... See full summary »

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6.8/10
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  • Neal Slavin in Focus (2001)
  • Director Neal Slavin on the set.
  • Laura Dern in Focus (2001)
  • Laura Dern and William H. Macy in Focus (2001)
  • William H. Macy in Focus (2001)
  • David Paymer in Focus (2001)

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11 November 2001 | Quinoa1984
7
| Terrific Performances and a finely tuned story
One of Arthur Miller's finest works, Focus, comes to the screen and while there was a lot to like about the movie, some of it seemed like it was almost unreal (though I'm not sure if that's in a good or bad way).

William H. Macy, great as always, plays Lawrence Newman, average Joe and good guy in Brooklyn, NY in the early 1940's who finds he needs a new pair of specs. Unfortunately, his choice of glasses makes him appear to be, well, Jewish, as this seems to his mother from the start. Lawrence tries to ignore the ignorance and bigotry in his neighborhood against the Jewish people, but with a string of events involving his neighbors (Meat Loaf, David Paymer), and a new girlfriend (Laura Dern in one of her best performances) who knows what trouble Lawrence is in, push him into the conflict of his life.

Often, Focus, delivers a poignant, startling and smart story in showing a character with so much at stake it is making him insane. Macy and the rest of the cast are so close to perfect and if only for them make this a must see. Not to dissapoint the fans of Miller's book, I suppose, but if it does then that is just another flaw. B+

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