24 November 2013 | evanston_dad
And the award for the 2013 film most reminiscent of the Oscar-winning Best Picture "Crash" goes to "Disconnect."
Though, in defense of "Disconnect," it's a much better film than Paul Haggis's hot mess. It's directed by Henry Alex-Rubin, whose only other screen credit that I'm personally familiar with is the excellent 2005 documentary "Murderball." It examines the toll social media takes on personal relationships, and like "Crash," it examines the paradox of a world in which communication with other humans is easier than ever before, yet in which everyone feels lonelier than ever. It brings together a number of stories and makes connections between them, and like any screenplay that relies heavily on this narrative approach, some of the connections are more graceful than others. The film culminates in a montage of violence, in which the characters in the various stories finally and literally connect with each other in the only way they know how -- through violence. Parts of this climax, particularly a story featuring Alexander Skarsgaard and Paula Patton as a married couple who fall victim to identity theft, felt over done, but Alex-Rubin mostly keeps a firm and sensible hand on his material and doesn't let his film become preachy the way "Crash" did.
One of the things I liked most about "Disconnect" was the way it captured just how reliant we as a race have fallen to all electronic devices. Some type of gadget makes an appearance in literally every scene of the movie -- characters sit around checking their phones, listening to their music, tapping away at their laptops -- and yet it didn't feel forced by the screenplay in order to make a point. It felt like the way the world actually looks now.