In a summer that is supposed to be blowing our minds with big budget special effects and things that go boom, this relatively quiet Philip Roth adaptation winds up being one of the season’s best bets.
Logan Lerman gives one of the year’s best performances thus far as Marcus, a Jewish student attending college in New Jersey while many of his friends are going off to fight the Korean War. He meets Olivia (Sarah Gadon, so good in 11.22.63), a free spirited young woman with a checkered past. The two have a romance that isn’t necessarily of storybook quality, and complications ensue.
Lerman and Gadon are terrific together, and James Schamus, making his feature directing debut, delivers what may be the best adaptation of a Roth novel to date.
There’s a much buzzed about scene in this movie between Lerman and Tracy Letts as the school’s Dean, a scene that will blow your socks off. Honestly, this scene is as powerful and mesmerizing as anything Hollywood has tried to put on screen in the last couple of months.
This is a star making turn for both Lerman and Gadon, and the tragedy at the core of this story will leave you wiped out by the time credits roll. Indignation is easily one of the summer’s best.