Saturday, 6 June 2020

The Public

This is an interesting little film which I think slipped under the radar in 2018. Written and directed by Emilio Estevez (The Breakfast Club) who also plays the lead, it's a moral tale and reflection of society's attitudes towards people who don't have homes and may have mental health issues and/or addictions - with a poke at fake news and badly-behaved media reporting thrown in for good measure!

Wiki [edit]: After learning that shelters are full when a brutal Midwestern cold front makes its way to Cincinnati, a large group of homeless library patrons refuse to leave the downtown public library at closing time. What begins as a nonviolent occupation escalates into a standoff with local police, led by a no-nonsense crisis negotiator and a savvy district attorney with lofty political ambitions, as two librarians are caught in the middle.

Christian Slater plays Mr Nasty in contrast to Mr Nice Estevez with Alec Baldwin somewhere in the middle, seeing both sides because he has a missing son who has an addiction problem. The large cast of character actors do a splendid job and keep it interesting.

It may well have turned into a sloppy tear-jerking mess, but doesn't thankfully. It is however moving in parts, funny in parts and dramatic in others. It is kind-of 'feel good' but there are messages that come with the fictional drama. I enjoyed it and would recommend.

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