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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Gerry

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February 06, 2009

Movie Review Friday: Gerry

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week, we review a film with an environmental theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 or fewer words and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Gerry (2002)
Available on DVD

When you go on a hike, you should probably pack water. And if it’s a long hike, you should pack food too. Unfortunately for the two characters in this film, directed by Gus Van Sant (Milk, Good Will Hunting), they didn’t anticipate getting lost after they decided to go for a brief walk during a long car trip. The characters, both named Gerry, are played by Matt Damon and Casey Affleck, co-writers of the film. The plot’s simple: During their walk, they get a little turned around. And then they walk and walk and talk and laugh and walk and walk and then get worried and walk some more – all in a vain attempt to get back to their car. You won’t see another movie that shows the landscape so beautiful and yet so calamitous and lethal at the same time.

Reaction to the film was divisive. Film majors and avid hikers may love it. Blockbuster-seekers will hate it. When it debuted at Sundance, a huge chunk of the audience walked out. In his thumbs-up review, Roger Ebert wrote: “And yet, and yet – the movie is so gloriously bloody-minded, so perverse in its obstinacy, that it rises to a kind of mad purity. The longer the movie ran, the less I liked it and the more I admired it.”

--Brian Foley

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