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

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13 July 2006 | pzilliox
8
| It's not just about the glasses.
Others' main criticism of this film--namely that Macy suddenly looks Jewish upon donning his glasses--is misplaced. The glasses are just the little bit of change needed to CONVINCE others he's a Jew. The scene in which he says to his boss, (paraphrasing) "but you KNOW what my background is," along with another discussion with his mother, suggests that he's had to fight this same assumption in the past. The glasses now make him look just Jewish enough to "confirm" his neighbors' and co-workers' existing suspicions. Then there is his new wife's large nose and taste for loud clothes, which OF COURSE means she's Jewish. The whole point of the film is how those little stereotypical nothings become the entire basis for judging others.

If he has a lisp, he must be gay. If he has long hair, he smokes dope. If he's Hispanic, he's got a knife...and if he has round black glasses and he's slight of build, he must be Jewish. Those statements all sound equally (im)plausible to me. If the conclusion people were jumping to in Focus was reasonable, the whole point of the story would be lost.

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