Brick (Director: Rian Johnson, USA, 2005): After meeting Joseph Gordon-Levitt at SXSW a few weeks ago, I was determined to track down this film, in which he plays a high school student whose ex-girlfriend turns up dead. The interesting thing is that this is not a typical teen movie, but instead is a highly stylized film noir, with hardboiled dialogue right out of the 1940s. It just happens to be set in a contemporary California high school.
Gordon-Levitt’s performance as Brendan is spot-on, and each of the young actors come across as fully committed to the unusual and intricate script. The only drawback is that some of the dialogue is spoken so quickly and softly that it can make the complicated plot hard to follow. I almost considered turning on the subtitles. But I figured that this is a film that I’ll want to watch a few times, so I’ll just let the dialogue work its way gradually into my mind. An audacious debut from Rian Johnson, directing from his own script.