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  • Everything about this movie is cheap and bad! The plot is bad, the acting is bad (especially by Miles Doleac the writer/director and main actor), the production is cheap and the supporting actors are bad. And that actor Colin Cunningham just looked and acted too much like Pauly Shore in this movie. (And I like Pauly Shore movies)

    Sometimes a movie can be cheap but not bad. And sometimes a movie can be bad and far from cheap. But here in 'The Historian' you have both. I sat through all two hours of this disaster thinking it might just give some laughs because it kept sinking into a melodramatic soap opera bog of bad. Well that didn't happen!

    And then in true Bible belt fashion (this movie was made in Mississippi) a sermonet on Jesus is thrown in for what reason I don't know. Something about living your principles I think. And my opinion on that scene can be found in Nina Simone's famous song about Mississippi.
  • nwsts27 March 2015
    I can't understand who are writing these glowing reviews for this movie, or,for that matter, why they are writing them. The script is just awful. By script I mean the story and dialog are awful. And by awful I mean painful AND boring. And, whoever encouraged this guy (Miles Doleac) to screen-write, should be forced to spend 4 years at whatever university this movie is set in. Two things stand out as most painful. First, if not for hackneyed expressions and unrelated drivel there would be no dialog. Second, the soundtrack's music was both bad and inconsistent with the scene action. On the plus side was Leticia Jimenez. Other actors gave average performances, mainly because it was impossible to rise above the dialog and scenes given to them. Hopefully, we'll see Ms Jimenez again, and if we ever see Mr. Doleac again, it should only be in *front* of the camera.
  • Ashleigh_B8 April 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    The film overall is nothing particularly special. The acting is a little thick, the pace drags in a few places, and the score is a little over-wrought. The narrative gets heavy-handed as the story winds down. I felt like the themes were hitting me over the head, rather than appearing naturally from time to time.

    But the most unsettling thing about this movie is how the narrative frames sexual violence. Rape is framed as a problem-solver for both Anna and Ben. Anna is victimized as a plot device, which is used to resolve the conflicts of Anna's dissertation being held up by Hadley, and is a fix-all for Ben's visiting professorship conflict. Ben gets to use Anna's rape for his personal and professional benefit. Hadley faces no consequences for his actions, save for the punch in the face delivered by white-knight Ben. The fact that Ben more or less tells Anna that rape/sexual violence is an occupational hazard in academia is incredibly distressing. The narrative supports this character's assertion that sexual violence in academia is the norm and does nothing to demonstrate that this is a flaw or misconception particular to Ben. Since the director is actually a professor at the university where the movie was filmed, he's clearly trying to blur the line between fiction and reality (and if he's not, the effect is the same because his dual roles do in fact blur the line for him). Overall, I object on several levels to the film's treatment of rape. I think it's dangerous to depict a rapist not being held accountable for his actions. I'm disappointed. I had hoped a movie set in an educated atmosphere would not resort to such cheap tricks as relying on sexual violence to wrap up so many conflicts in a little bow.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'll give you some headlines and then expand, if I may. Soundly written. Nicely made. Highly annoying soundtrack. Poorly acted. Too many threads. Far from reality/Fairy dust education.

    Let me preface everything here by saying that I am an academic. I have been for 30+ years. So, forgive my immodesty here if I claim to know a thing or two about universities and the people in them. What 'The Historian' presented has one toe of one foot in a small corner of university reality, but the other 4 toes and the entire other foot is far, far, FAR from what happens in universities. Because, in truth, life there is much weirder, much more vicious, much more conspiratorial and infinitely more clown like than this film portrays. Still, now I've said that, onward...

    Soundly written - There is much to praise in the writing here. Miles Doleac, who did all the hard work here in terms of both the script and the direction, not to mention his own acting performance, put together a mostly believable script with reasonably well-rounded characters (with some exceptions). There are holes in the story that needed to be fleshed out better (or just dropped altogether - more on that later) but, on the whole, it's a meritorious effort in terms of the script (if a little heavy-handed in 'the message'). Sadly though, the story also ultimately ends with a cliché which, now that I have seen the film, was in truth clearly evident from the beginning. It needed to go down another road if the viewer was to be satisfied.

    Nicely made - quite a simple directorial style here with some clear, easily accessible camera work. It drags its heels sometimes, however, in its pursuit of 'the grand narrative' when it should have moved on more swiftly. Nevertheless, it's a good effort and the cinematography gets full credit from this reviewer.

    Highly annoying soundtrack - oh dear, this is where the film begins to annoy. And annoy it does. The dour, miserable music chosen drags us down long before the film turns on its dark course which is a pity because it could have been a better film without the score that was chosen. Now, I'm not suggesting that such a miserable message this film contains should have toe-tapping cheery tunes but there's been much too much of this type of 'lonely chanteuse' style presented in other films. It's now a bore. Don't do it.

    Poorly acted - I mentioned before that Miles Doleac turns in a sound performance given that this was his project in most areas and hats off to him for all he did. The acting by some others, however, was just too far removed from the believable. Or, as my great Aunt used to say, 'Just too thick to swallow'. In particular, Jillian Taylor's turn as the oh-so-chipper Anna (who we quickly see from early on is the one who's going to be the real loser here) grates badly. She needed to turn it down a lot and portray your typical grad student in a way we could believe - worn out, fed up, flat broke, abandoned and desperate. Colin Cunningham (as the straight-off-the shelf-just-add-batteries departmental weirdo Chris Fletcher) was another wholly unbelievable character. His attempts at comic relief failed and, in truth, the film would have been able to tell the same story without him. Even dear old William Sadler (an actor I admire very much) hammed it up enough for me to lose faith in his character, Valerian Hadley, quite quickly too. Vaccilating between looking like he was under sedation most of the time to promoting the idea being crazy was all the rage, he soon looked like a man with nothing left to lose in this film. I felt a bit sorry for him to be honest because he has the capacity to pack some serious performing into his roles. All in all, the above (except for Miles Doleac's character, Ben Rhodes) gave the viewer little to cling to by way of meaningfulness.

    Too many threads - Mr. Doleac. Thanks for showing us your insides. All your hopes, all your sadness, all your love turned into stone, all your loss, all your broken dreams, all the people and places you have known. Now, what have you got left for next time? Screaming and shouting? A puppet show? Because they are just about the only things you didn't reveal here. Now, don't get me wrong; I like to see fully formed characterization - people who wear their flaws on their sleeves as much as they do their hearts. But, really, don't try to pack so much into one story. Plus, is it never sunny where you are? It just rains and rains on everyone? We go on with the show but...don't lose sight of the fact that life's funny too. Damned funny, actually. Let's see some of that next time, eh?

    Far from reality/Fairy dust education - The silly ending of 'teacher as hero'. Yawn...please...come on! In an era when colleges survive by churning out future systems analysts and lawyers, no-one, NO-ONE, is going to see a lecture theater packed to the gills with students oh-so-anxious to study the classics. That don't pay the bills and the Bank of Mum and Dad ain't going to fund it either. That ending made me feel empty inside...pity.

    Overall, 5/10. Looking forward to see if Miles Doneac has more up his sleeve. I hope so because I have a feeling he could write a great story and make a great film out of it too. Good luck.
  • Debut films are often hit or misses. Many bomb in quality and lack in depth. But some, often very few, exceed all expectations and rise above the status quo. The Historian accomplishes this feat on the back of Miles Doleac and leaves no room for doubt with this up-and-coming filmmaker and actor.

    The Historian is a film that examines several different plot points, from love to accomplishment and further to jealousy and determination, only to name a few. There are powerhouse performances here and directorial beauty. Though the film may not be Nolan-esque quality, it proves that the highest budget isn't needed to create an entertaining and enthralling work.

    Miles Doleac stuns with his acting, directing and writing for this film. He is a man who beats all odds and proves himself to be the product of his own determination and passion. I predict he is someone who we will be seeing a lot of in the near future.

    John Cullum and William Sadler both give amazing performances in this film and are perhaps the highlights of the acting field in this piece. They both astound with their humanity and flaws that are captured beautifully by an unforgiving and honest script.

    Beyond the more technical aspects, The Historian offers an in depth look at the higher educational system and often the corruption it presents. Doleac attacks the fact that students aren't pushed and are allowed to slack off and succeed, thus setting them up for future failure.

    This is one of many examples of the plethora of angles that The Historian focuses on. There is no shortness of plot elements and the characters beyond anything else feel alive. It is a film that anyone can watch and enjoy. Its run at film festivals and awards won at said events were earned in a deserving manner. Passion is in every scene and it is always apparent that this film was made by someone who loves the art of film making.

    I recommend The Historian to anyone who enjoys good drama and likes a taste of something new they haven't seen before. Every aspect of this film is great and it is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable movies of the year.

    charlesdunphey(dot)blogspot(dot)com
  • Dawne_Kennedy8 November 2014
    This script truly depicts the state of academia today - education is, unfortunately, a business - but the human element interspersed throughout several subplots, the writer (and subsequently the actors who brought the characters to life) have delivered a completely believable rendering of people doing what people do best: searching for peace, failing, and persevering with the hopes that life will one day make sense and happiness will be attained.

    Veteran actors William Sadler, John Cullum, and Glynnis O'Connor added depth and maturity to the film, while Miles Doleac (who also wore the hats of director and writer) created the pace and choreography to which the characters danced. Colin Cunningham's manic take on his character brought levity to the group (everyone NEEDS that one friend...), and Jillian Taylor, Leticia Jimenez, and Lindsay Anne Williams rounded out the group as superb, and strong, female characters.

    I may be biased, as I am part of the academic community, and Hollywood rarely offers a true depiction of what that world is like. Doleac's film does this with aplomb. But, you don't have to be in academia to enjoy this film - not at all... just have been part of your own human experience.
  • So tonight, I saw The Historian, the best film I have ever seen. Why do I think it is the best film I have ever seen? Is it because yours truly is seen three times in the background of the film? No. Is it because the writer, director, and main character of the film is a former professor of mine whom I hold in the highest esteem and look to as a role model and academic hero? Maybe a little. But the main reason I say this is because it is unlike any film I have ever seen. Most films today get so wrapped up in special effects, big sounds, and forced drama (which is why I dislike Christopher Nolan's Batman). The Historian however gets back to the roots of story telling. While too many movies today are able to substitute story with a huge explosion or a sky scraper collapsing for fifteen minutes, the Historian does not. Every scene has a very specific contribution to the overall story (or storIES) taking place within the world of the characters.

    The plot alone sets this film apart. Rather than having ordinary characters in extraordinary circumstances, or perhaps extraordinary characters set in even more extraordinary circumstances, The Historian revolves around the every-day, very relatable conflicts of the modern person: love, death, sex, right v wrong, accepting things you cannot change, and many other themes. As most people know, the story is about a young professor beginning his career at a major university. For one reason or another, he ends up clashing with another, seasoned professor, while also ending up getting mixed up in drama involving women (a classic scenario). The main character is forced to change some of his ways of thinking, accept some things that he cannot change about his situation, and figure out how to work with fortunes or misfortunes that are handed to him > not to mention have them co- exist. This however, is only the beginning. To say much more would be to give away some of the greatest points of the tale. Overall, it is a beautiful story of three major characters growing and learning how to live this thing we call life. They are all on different walks of life, and have different perspectives on how things should be. There is no set antagonist, but rather three major protagonists who's lives have become intertwined in various ways, and because of the interconnection, creates conflict. Brilliant.

    A second thing that makes this film the best I have ever seen (aside form the story, acting skills, camera work, etc.) is the honesty. I love how honest this film is. From the character's reactions to difficult trials, to the real life trials themselves, to the lessons learned from those trials, it is all too obvious to me that this film was not put up simply to make money like other major motion pictures are today. The film beautifully captures the human experience of success and failure through a deep story about people living, learning, and growing independently and together. The film teaches lessons, raises questions, and entertains all at the same time. I wonder how much better main stream movies would be if the focus was on the raw STORY, its CHARACTERS and their GROWTH, rather than special effects and CGI?

    The third thing that I loved about this film is how it did a brilliant job of showcasing Hattiesburg, the MS Gulf Coast, and Mississippi in subtle, yet not overly displaying ways. It showed our lovely USM campus in Hattiesburg, the landscape, local bars/restaurants, and craft beer(Lazy Mag). It is apparent that a Mississippi native was the backbone of the project.

    One last little thing that I loved about The Historian, simply from a personal perspective, is the history throughout it. If you have ever taken any of Dr. Doleac's classes, you will hear some of the same things he has probably talked about in his classes, especially about Jesus and what made him "dangerous," to the cultural norm.

    I could probably go on and on about the film, but that would take up entirely too much time, which could be time you should be purchasing your tickets online or heading down to the theater to see it for yourself. If you are a Mississippian and love your state, especially if you live in Hattiesburg or the Gulf Coast, I highly encourage you to go see this excellent film, The Historian.

    Bona Fortuna!
  • harkinjamie5 April 2019
    I love this film. Very well done. Filmed on the University of Southern Mississippi campus! Miles is one multi-talented dude!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As a first feature from Miles Doleac, who wore multiple hats as writer, director and actor, The Historian shows great promise. I noticed one reviewer made negative comments about the film having been made in Mississippi. That seems a little closed-minded--let's not forget that while there exists a dark history, Mississippi's creative legacy is undeniable--and mean to be so negative just because it was filmed in the Deep South (full disclosure, I live in New Orleans). I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out that the film was made in MS, because the film looked a little bit like Anywhere, USA. The cinematography was really beautiful.

    Perhaps the context clues within the film about everyone studying ancient history and the fact that Jesus lived in the first century, and thus was an ancient personage, escaped that person. For me, I didn't think it was overly preachy, but really enjoyed being put in the classroom and seeing the efforts that teachers make to try to keep their students interested while presenting them with a new way to look at the world.

    I haven't been a part of academia as a professor, but in my experience as a grad student, some of the situations and people depicted in The Historian are pretty spot-on. While his performance was a little distracting and over-the-top, Colin Cunningham's crazy, off-beat professor reminded me of a couple of my old professors. And William Sadler's portrayal of the uptight, possessive patriarch of the Classics department whose ties to his students sometimes straddled the inappropriate was incredibly true-to-life. I think one reviewer mentioned that the world of academia is much further down the path than even this film presents---I fully concur.

    The performances of the leading actors were solid. John Cullum is simply divine. I wanted more of him and his story. Sadler and Doleac were also good and their scenes together crackle with tension. Jillian Taylor is at times a little silly and saccharine sweet, but it's hard to tell if it's her or the writing. I also fan-girled a little bit about Glynnis O'Connor in this film, I adore her.

    I'll grant, part of the ending is a little cliché, with the burst in popularity of Ben Rhodes' classes (but who can deny that teachers can become heroes--and I have personally been in Classics courses in huge lectures halls that were packed to the gills), but the other part surprised me. I was totally expecting the romantic story line to wrap up in the opposite way. It was really nice to see a strong woman who is unapologetic about her sexuality, who says what she thinks, and is complex and emotional even though she claims not to be. It was really nice to see that woman, who at times was the only person in the film who knew who the hell she was, get the guy.

    I very much enjoyed the film and would not hesitate to watch another of Doleac's projects!
  • This was an interesting movie, I have no idea if it's based on any real circumstances but it's an overall good watch. Not for children,... but if you want something that will keep your interest this is for you. Not a violent movie, very believable characters and well written on a somewhat overlooked subject, (History for crying out loud! The Main character is new to the school he's teaching at.) It does a good job of showing what the state of education sadly has become, ...A business! No longer concerned with actually educating students the education system is only trying to make money! I will certainly watch this movie multiple times. Aided by the main actor, Miles Doleac's personal history (Including a PhD!) His portrayal is spot on. This movie has sparked my desire to watch MORE independent films. It made me wonder what I've been missing by not going off the mainstream.
  • I did not expect much from this movie because Jake's Road brought me here, but I have to acknowledge the solid directing, acting (although I wish he would stop looking off to the right so much when the other actors deliver their lines) and writing by Miles Doleac. William Sadler and Leticia Jimenez are also very good in this movie.

    I am assuming that Miles and Mike Mayhall are friends, appearing in projects written and directed by the other, but there is no comparison between them as writer/directors. This movie is thoughtful, intelligent and insightful. I was impressed by this film, looking forward to more from Miles. 6/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    My immediate reaction while watching the movie the first time: Why haven't I seen this????? Indie films are hard to keep up with and harder still to separate the wheat from the chaff but the Historian has risen to the top of my indie list to watch again and again, but more importantly, to show off to my friends.

    Primarily, I would not write you had to have spent any time in academia to appreciate this movie, although having been to college or through a college course might add some appreciation, it certainly is not needed. The movie does not treat the viewer as obtuse. It assumes you can follow along and understand the multi-layered and multi-faceted complexities of the characters. Because the movie is able to go deep and wide with each character, you can begin to see them as human beings with all their faults. One might even find him or herself feeling sorry for the antagonist.

    In this movie, we follow the life of Valerian Hadley, played by the immortal William Sadler. A middle-aged department head at a small private university somewhere in the south, Hadley's world is crumbling. Hadley struggles with his father's Alzheimer's. A new professor has come to town to be the big man on campus. Couple all this with Hadley's inability to get his new works published and the professor's life is just unraveling. His dry and bland personality meshed with the fact he is a jerk certainly makes him the bad guy in the film but a human one. At some point, you can see he is even dying for companionship. Although of course he handles himself "poorly" even in this facet of his life.

    There is a particular scene where Hadley practices his martial arts kata (looks to be Tai Chi possibly) and you get the feeling the character is "Centering" himself. He has begun to accept the new age in his life, and things can only get better..... or maybe not. But even if they don't get better, Hadley will at least be able to finally deal with himself.

    For Miles Doleac's part, as writer, director, and producer, he has done a stunning job for a first time filmmaker. Being that he wrote the script, he fully understands what and how he wants the characters to be. He seemingly lets the actors stretch their legs a bit in certain areas and it works. He did not get over-bearing and not everything is perfect, as one would expect in life.

    The real story here is the humanity. The middle aged professor moving on to the later half of his career, and the new hot-shot professor just really getting his feet wet in his, both of them faced by different, but none the less daunting problems. Problems of the faculty, problems with each other, problems with possible romantic interests and even problems within themselves. There is a very pointed history lesson here: History repeats itself, even in each other. Kurt Vonnegut probably said it best: "I've got news for Mr. Santayana: we're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive." And coming to grips with this being alive is not fearing a repeat, and maybe embracing the second half of life is exactly the message The Historian is trying to get across.

    Bottom line: There are any number of ways one could read into this film, and each time I watch it, I leave it with a slightly different perspective. For a major Hollywood release, I would not get this, ever. Hollywood guides me to one specific ending, one specific feeling, the one they want me to have, and I tend to resist. The Historian however beckons me to embrace it's eccentricity, and take from it what I want, rather than being spoon fed. A mental stretch in my living room watching the Hollow is a good day. I recommend this film highly as a best in the indie film scene of the last few years.
  • coultrie30 March 2015
    The Historian is special to me because it was filmed at my alma mater, never mind that I absolutely loved the film. It has all the qualities of a huge blockbuster, but more than that the film itself gives the audience a personal touch. Once you hit play, you instantly recognize snippets and snatches of people you know, and emotions that have been evoked when you've faced struggle in your own life. it's a solid film for those looking for a complex tale with subplots weaving in and out of the story. I am the type of viewer that loves to watch a movie multiple times, and catch little different details each time. This movie did not disappoint. I suggest not only renting the movie and enjoying it for yourself, but also owning a part of what will become Mississippi history.
  • The Historian is a true, in depth look into the world of academia as we know it. Doleac did a fantastic job of showing the struggle between collegiate students and their professors, and how some in the collegiate world are more worried about money than education. There are some institutions today that are more worried about university income rather than worrying about what is being actually being learned by students. Also a humorous and detailed inside look on how some professors might see the current world they live in. Beautiful and painful stories, beautiful locations, and great performances from Sadler, Doleac, Cullum, Jimenez and Cunningham make 'The Historian' a great watch.
  • Not only is this review a cheer for those of you who took the time to see the directorial debut of Miles Doleac's The Historian, but it is also a rebuke for those of you who - like me - waited until the last minute or did not see it at all. Why I waited so long, I can not say. Maybe I was not impressed by the trailer. Maybe I doubted the merit of a local production. You can quote me when I say that I was in the wrong.

    If anything, the soapy trailer misled viewers. More times than not, Doleac's reflection on academia and the art of moving on knocked me for a spin. Doleac is obviously well versed in these kind of stories. When the narrative threatened to initiate autopilot, the director/writer/actor tilted the wheel ever so slightly, offering a fresh look at old ground.

    So what is this movie about, exactly? I could go on and on about Ben Rhodes (Doleac), a Latin professor left wounded by life, and his various entanglements concerning teacher- student relations, teacher-teacher relations, marital issues, grumpy department chairs with ailing parents, and the laziness of students. However, all of these various plot elements point to a much simpler summary: this is a story about a troubled man learning to let go, to move on. Do not let the abundance of characters haze this defining point. This is Ben's story and Doleac remembers that more times than not.

    Even though it is a small-scale, local film, The Historian sinks its teeth into a particular career - here, it is academia - better than most big-budget dramas. I was personally familiar with just about every one of the film's locations, having grown up in Hattiesburg, but I never once doubted the authenticity of this world. It feels lived in. We see the ins and outs, the politics, the egos, and all the dirty laundry that comes with the deal. Most people take this degree of world-building for granted; but no matter how convincing the actors are, if you do not buy their world as believable, nothing works. Doleac succeeds in blending this lived-in world with three-dimensional characters.

    As to be expected in a movie of this scale, some of the performances are better than others. Unsurprisingly, the characters that stick the longest are those performed by the veterans in the cast. William Sadler (best known by me personally as the Grim Reaper in the Bill & Ted sequel) makes the increasingly unlikable Hadley human up to the last frame. Northern Exposure's John Cullum plays Hadley's fading father arrestingly. Which leaves Doleac, who, though stretched thin with his directing and writing duties, never seems to forget that above all is character.

    Now that I have spoken a bit about the actual story, let me indulge in what I liked most about this movie. The fact that a director in south Mississippi would make a movie that included a bit of (gasp) nudity and an even greater bit of language left me rather impressed, if I am being honest. Now, do not get me wrong. I am not saying that because I am a big fan of cursing and naked bodies. It impresses me that someone of such high standing in a community so grounded in its ways has the artistic nerve to tell a story the way they felt it should be told. I am a staunch believer in artistic honesty. A story can only be told one way and compromising that way is both dishonest and discrediting.

    Wrapping it up with a return to the actual story, some of the resolutions clicked with me more so than others - as did the subplots in general. Doleac proves with The Historian that you do not need millions of dollars and A-list stars to make a movie that stays true to character and strives to say something about our human condition.
  • Though I've never written a review, I felt I had to in this case. I read the other reviews (and agree with most of them), but admittedly, I am confused by the one guy who wrote a bad review. Clearly, not everyone has to have the same tastes, but I found his review to be rather obtuse, as if he had a personal grudge against the director and actors of the film - or perhaps he was confused by the subject matter in the film (as not all of it is placed on the lower shelf for those who can't understand subtext or follow along complex story lines).

    As for the film, and providing a review, not just as a rebuttal towards *istum puerum*, the movie is a good one. If you have any love for the classics, you'll like it. If you follow certain actors, you'll like it. If you like movies set in academia (that kind of pull the curtain back on what's happening in that world today), you'll like it. If you like clever (but not always sunshine-inducing) dialogue, you'll like it.
  • Absolutely great film. The character development combined with the emotion driven dialogue within each character was something I have not seen in a movie in a long time. The hard work and emotion put into this film was evident throughout its duration. It was created with the heart. The Historian is a truly masterful piece that captures the intensity of each characters struggle with a breathtaking and edge of your seat performance by each actor. I could feel the emotion and intensity poring out from both Miles Doleac and William Sadler as they both gave scary realistic performances. This film was a breath of fresh air as Miles Doleac made the decision to stray away from the Hollywood stigma and create something truly from the heart.
  • This movie is not about feeling sorry for the protagonists. It is about the conflicting desires, values, opportunities that make our lives an unholy mess from time to time. The place and time chosen make for believable interactions berween very different people living through very different, if intermingled, crises. This is not about good or bad people or about winners and losers. It is about being human, the predicaments thereof, the tasks, the sorrows and the loves. I welcomed it . Oh, there is a gunshot : paintball, color green...
  • Knowing this was an indie film with a budget exponentially lower than most "Hollywood" blockbusters, I wasn't sure what to expect. Let me just say: WOW! I was impressed and delighted when I promptly forgot any preconceived notions about "low budget" or "independent" and found myself immediately drawn into the story and the characters! The writer/director does a masterful job of portraying in a totally believable way many of the common characters encountered in academia without over-stereo-typing them. The plot conflicts are extremely believable and I applaud Miles Doleac for having the bravery to portray life as it is often actually lived rather than caving to the pressure to portray a more "politically correct" version of events. Art imitates life; and life, especially in that microcosm we call "Academia", is messy and complicated and, occasionally, as we see in The Historian, beautifully rewarding...but it never lets you forget there is always, always a price. Thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time! Worth watching more than once to pick up on the more subtle character nuances!!!
  • Heard a Miles Doleac interview on a radio show in CA and I finally got a chance to watch this great movie! I was really surprised how engaging it was and how the characters were thoroughly developed.

    The antagonist and provocateur in the movie played by William Sadler is played as more of a confused soul than as a bad guy. This actually makes the entire story more believable. Sadler did an excellent job expressing the pain and emotion that his character, Valerian Hadley, is going through. Sadler is certainly under-rated as an actor and in this movie we finally get to see him do some serious work.

    Miles Doleac writes and directs the movie as well as taking on the role of Professor Ben Rhodes. Being this is his first foray into writing and directing he does an impressive job. The story itself probably follows pieces of real life which is what makes the characters compelling. These could all be people we know and Doleac brings the depth, baggage and complexities to the screen in such a way that we can understand each of the characters.

    My only knock would be that I think the Stacey Castillo character played by Leticia Jimenez doesn't get enough development. At 2-hours I am not sure there was enough time to get too deep into her character.

    I really liked the movie. It is pretty serious and may not be the movie for you if you like a more lighthearted cinema. The dialog is more realistic than a lot of movies I've seen. How many of us really don't have prosaic speech in our day to day lives? I think a lot of independent projects like this go out of their way to be poetic and I don't think Doleac makes that attempt at all. He tells a story in a way that works for me.
  • Besides being entertaining, what I liked best about this movie was that it was indeed like a collegiate level class in ancient history, which was much better than the striking million dollar budgets of Hollywood epics that get the majority of history wrong for the purpose of "artistic license." If Doleac has the budget for his future films, I'd like to see what the man can do with an historical epic.

    And I mean... Bill Sadler? John Cullum? Colin Cunningham? Besides excellent players of the known and unknown variety, this film tells the audience in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that to gain anything in this life, one must be prepared to pay the price, and in doing so, one might gain the world - or lose it. It's rare that films these days say something. This one does. It's like holding a mirror up to humanity at its best and worst.
  • harkinjamie5 April 2019
    Warning: Spoilers
    I love this movie. Great acting and story line all around!