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The Believer (1 Viewer)

Matt Stone

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Matt Stone
Never saw a discussion thread on this, so I thought I'd start one.

Got it yesterday from Netflix, and I'm surprised that I didn't hear more about it last year. I remember it taking home the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2001, but aside from seeing Ebert and Roeper review it way back when, I haven't heard much.

I've gotta say I thought it was a really strong film. Not to mention Gosling's fantastic performance. I recently watched Murder By Numbers on HBO, and while the film sucked, I took notice of Gosling's performance. I didn't realize that he was in The Believer until I popped it in. From a couple of comments off of this forum as well as IMDB, I see that some have problems with the lack of explanation of what sent Danny Balint down this troubled path. Personally I don't see it as much of a problem, because I feel the film is much more internal than a film like American History X. While AHX dealt with the idea of hate and it's possible causes and reprocussions, I felt that The Believer was much more about one man's internal struggle between his believes and his heritage. I thought the reoccuring images of the Nazi Soldier (w/Balint's face) played well especially when the Jewish father was also shown as Balint. It was a good method of visual storytelling. Rather than some cheeseball voice-over, Bean conveyed Balint's feelings through images.

I'll have to think a bit more before I write anything else, but I'm really impressed with this film.
 

streeter

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Michael
I rented this last week and thought it was a great indie flick. Definitely worth renting. It was a little strange to find out that it was in full frame, but I guess it was shot that way.
 

Michael Reuben

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I'm surprised that I didn't hear more about it last year.
Probably because the film did not receive a real theatrical release. It played on Showtime, and a few prints were released -- much later -- to art houses in New York, L.A. and maybe a few other places.

I reviewed it last year after it played on Showtime. My review is in the 2002 Indie Thread.

I recommend regular visits to the indie thread. It's a great antidote to the endless complaints that "they don't make enough good movies today". ;)

M.
 

Matt Stone

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Huh? Unless I'm losing my mind I watched the DVD in anamorphic widescreen.
 

Ross Williams

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Feb 9, 1999
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I too watched it in Widescreen.

I thought it was a powerful movie. It brought up a lot of things to be thought about. Stuff that we can't go into here, because of their political and religious signifigance. But a movie that'll make you think, that's something good. (That's rare these days.)

Gossling's performance was incredible. The stress his character's putting himself through is causing him to go insane. That really shines through. He's brilliant and tortured at the same time.

Being based off a true case made it all the more compelling.
 

streeter

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Michael
Strange. Perhaps it was one of those DVDs like The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, which on some players automatically scans in to full screen.
 

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