Sweet Suffering Superheroes!

Unbreakable sags, George Washington shines

It's clear that Green and his cinematographer, Tim Orr, have spent long and happy hours in the company of Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven. Shooting in Cinemascope, the camera sits still for long moments or pans slowly past old armchairs squatting in back yards, yellowed weeds thrusting up through railway tracks. A boy picks up an old suitcase, and it flies open, releasing a gorgeous stream of water. A clutch of mechanics sits around discussing the finer points of health food. We also see a lovely church and long afternoons splashing in a public pool, the landscape mirroring the richly anachronistic internal culture of a forgotten town that's mired in poverty yet lives on, carried by long-established, unspoken habits of community and friendship. There's beauty in the squalor, and a kind of peace even in the profound unease that settles over the children—especially the eponymous George—after the accident in the bathroom. George Washington is wise beyond its director's years, a particular film in the way that a great novel or documentary is particular: it's the details, the images, that establish the life. Unsettled by the accident and by another freak event that sets him up as a local hero, George wanders around town in a homemade Superman outfit, a sheet billowing out behind him, as he tries to get a grip on what's happened. "I hope you live forever," says Nasia. Me, too.

Unbreakable was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan; produced by Shyamalan, Barry Mendel and Sam Mercer; and stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn and Spencer Treat clark. Now playing countywide; George Washington was written and directed by David Gordon Green; produced by Green, Sacha W. Mueller and Lisa Muskat; and stars Candace Evanofski, Curtis Cotton III and Donald Holden. Now playing at the Nuart.

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