31 May 2012 | bomalley7373
Good movies entertain. Great movies linger in the viewer's mind long after the end credits roll. Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean does exactly that. It's been days since I viewed this amazing film at the Seattle International Film Festival and I can't get it out of my mind.
To appreciate this film one must cast aside all preconceived notions of who the so-called hyper-cool stud James Dean was - or wasn't. One must surrender to the film's almost dream-like, nonlinear storyline. One also must also not be homophobic to enjoy this unique gem of a film.
Joshua Tree, 1951 is simply beautiful, from the surprising opening scene to the end. James Preston, playing James Dean, gives a raw portrayal of the price Dean paid to become a star. Preston skillfully plays Dean as he was before the world knew him: fresh off the farm, seething with ambition, hungry for knowledge. Dan Glenn masterfully plays The Roommate (rumored to be real-life former Dean roommate Bill Bast), painting a remarkably beautiful portrait of love that could never be in the early 1950s. The audience sympathizes The Roommate as the one who paid the life-long price for loving Dean. Ed Singletery, playing Roger, is a wonderful metaphor for the Hollywood "machine," and Dalilah Rain, playing Violet, is a delight to watch.
The cinematography is sure to attract the attention of award ceremonies and will be studied in film schools for years to come.
Go see this film!