Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Garden State


I was reminded of The Graduate, and wasn’t surprised to see several reviewers mention it. It’s not that good, but it’s not bad. The first scene is totally off the wall: Our hero is in an airliner which seems to be crashing, everyone is screaming and running about, and he sits there calmly, almost asleep, even adjusts the air blower overhead. Turns out this is metaphorical. He is so deeply medicated that he is barely alive. An awful thing happened to him when he was 8, and his shrink father tried to cure it with drugs. Now he’s going home for his mother’s funeral and gradually coming out of his trance. The filmmaking technique is very good, people are more complex and interesting than you expect them to be. Quirky is the right word, I guess. I love Natalie Portman, and she makes a lot out of a part that isn’t very well written. I liked it, but not enough to see it again. I was astonished to find that it is listed at #240 on the IMDb’s Top 250 film list, so it must have struck a chord in 20-somethings.