Style and wit in 'Roger Dodger'

Not all films need to be noisy and overblown blockbusters, not when they come as well written, directed and performed as this indie charmer.

Roger Dodger

Director: Dylan Kidd

Cast: Campbell Scott, Jesse Eisenberg, Isabella Rossellini, Jennifer Beals

Cert: Club.

Not all films need to be noisy and overblown blockbusters, not when they come as well written, directed and performed as this indie charmer.

Kidd, who also wrote it, shows a great many mature skills in his debut behind the cameras, extracting much that is funny, observant and satisfying … and from Scott, the son of the great actor George C. Scott, there is a playing of strength which should shoot his career into the big time.

Here, he plays a Manhattan advertising copywriter of swaggering self-importance and self-obsession; he is a master manipulator (particularly of women) and he thinks of himself as the ultimate God's Gift. He knows it all.

Then comes his teenage nephew (another terrific contribution from Eisenberg) from the back-waters of rural Ohio, on the lookout for a suitable college but more importantly on the lookout for how to lose his virginity. Uncle would appear to be the perfect guide around the enticing Big Apple.

It is, naturally, a journey of self-discovery, carried out with great style and wit.

We have here a film - a Tribeca Festival award-winner - of gentle quality, highlighted by Scott's outstanding acting, and a cast which clearly welcomed the chance to be in something more than an exploding, car chasing, special F/X project. It's a highly literate film and the sad thing is that it is getting such a restricted release ... it certainly deserves better.

Star Rating: 4/5

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