Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I have a powerful movie for you this week. It's Disconnect (2012, Rated R, Available On DVD).
I'm always a bit disappointed when I find a movie such as this and it's been around for a while, but I've never heard of it. And the majority of you, Dear Readers, say that you haven't heard of these movies. What keeps a movie this good from being watched by a bazillion people and getting nominated for some awards?
In Disconnect we have a family (parents and two teens), a married couple trying to recover from the death of a child, a TV journalist investigating online porn sessions involving minors, and a father and son on their own because the boy's mother died. What do they have in common? A disconnect. A disconnect from the people they need the most, while they need to disconnect from their computers and smart phones and other tech time-and-attention sucks.
Every character's story is compelling, but I want to focus on the parents with two kids. The father is a lawyer who pays little attention to his family, especially his son. Jason Bateman plays the father. I never thought of Jason Bateman as a strong actor until I saw him in Juno. I've seen him in quite a few films since then. Sometimes he plays a silly character (he is funny), but he's much better with serious, dramatic roles, such as this father. When he finally learns that his son has been cyber-bullied and who is to blame, the film reaches its climax with some great acting from Bateman and some excellent cinematography that includes slow motion and stop-action shots.
I find this film very moving. Disconnect earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.
I would not show this R-rated movie to children, but maybe teens starting with 13 or 14? It's up to you. You might not want them to hear the profanity and see a very graphic scene of self-violence, but if anything would make a kid lose the desire to cyber-bully, it could be this movie. Or would it teach a kid with a propensity toward bullying how to go about doing it successfully?
'Tis a conundrum, as is most of life.
You'll also learn a lot about identity theft from this movie and that, ultimately, you can't hide what you do on your computer.
I hope you have a beautiful weekend, and be sure to connect with your loved ones.
Infinities of love,
Mike Dixon: Everything you do, someone out there can see.