Focus Movie Review Summary

Actors: William H. Macy, Laura Dern, David Paymer, Meat Loaf

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Focus

After serving his country in the Great War, Lawrence Newman (Macy) has lived in the same Brooklyn neighborhood and worked as a personnel director at the same company for 20 years. During the Second World War, anti-Semitism is quietly on the rise in the neighborhoods and in the workforce. Newman himself passes on a job applicant, Gertrude Hart (Dern) because she looks Jewish. Then, much to his consternation, everyone begins to regard Newman as Jewish the day he gets a pair of glasses. Things get worse when he meets Gertrude again and ends up marrying her. He ends up losing his job, and things get nasty in his neighborhood, especially with his beefy, bigoted next-door neighbor Fred (Meat Loaf). A Jewish store owner on the corner becomes the focus of all his neighbors' hatred, and Newman has to decide where he stands and what he will do. This 2001 film, based closely on Arthur Miller's novel, was director Neal Slavin's and screenwriter Kendrew Lascelles's first feature, and a very accomplished and unnerving piece of work it is. Macy is superb as a quiet wimpy guy who minds his own business until circumstances force him to do otherwise, and Dern (about whom I've not been that fond) is surprisingly strong as well. The dream-like quality of Miller's short novel is reproduced in vibrant, "more-real-than-real" sets and colors, but otherwise this is a tight, un-histrionic tale.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of Focus

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Ethnic/Regional/Gender story?    -   Yes Ethnic/region/relig    -   Jew, regular    -   American Northeast

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   business executive Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   sex under blankets Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing Is this movie based on a    -   book

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