IFFBoston Screening Series
Directed by: Henry Alex Rubin
Starring: Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Michael Nyqvist, Paula Patton, Andrea Riseborough, and Alexander Skårsgard
Wednesday, March 27 at 7:30pm
Coolidge Corner Theatre - 290 Harvard St, Brookline
Director Henry Alex Rubin will appear in person for a Q&A immediately after the screening
Just how dangerous is the internet? Beyond the tabloid scare stories, what does it mean to live more and more of our life online? Few films have offered much insight outside of science fiction, but DISCONNECT explores the all-too-real dangers of how we live now.
A former Marine (Alexander Skarsgård) reacts to his failing marriage by succumbing to the credit-sapping allure of online gambling, while his wife (Paula Patton) begins to confess her secrets to a stranger she’s met on a social-media site. These cyber-transgressions result in stolen savings and stolen identities, leading the couple to seek revenge on the man they presume to be responsible (Michael Nyqvist)—but is he?
In a parallel story thread, a pair of teenage pranksters play a nasty trick on an outcast classmate (Jonah Bobo)—an introverted goth boy with genuine musical talent—by posing on Facebook as the girl they know he likes. Mercilessly stringing him along, they push the boy to expose himself online, a humiliation that leads to an act of desperation—which drives the boy’s mother (Hope Davis) to inconsolable anguish, and his father (Jason Bateman) to uncontrollable anger. Meanwhile, a TV reporter (Andrea Riseborough) sets out to tell the story of another young man caught up in selling online sex, but is soon confronted with the impact the publicity might have on his safety.
Director Henry Alex Rubin’s previous credits include the extraordinary documentary MURDERBALL (IFFBoston 2005). In this, his first fiction film, he explores real-world dilemmas through a network of gripping, cunningly intertwined narratives. DISCONNECT pursues a storytelling strategy similar to “we are all connected” movies such as MAGNOLIA, CRASH, and BABEL, but here the form uncannily echoes the film’s subject: living online truly does connect us, in ways we can’t always predict. The film’s implicit warnings are neither hysterical nor pat. Rubin simply poses difficult questions, using his carefully honed drama as a springboard for critical thought about the brave new virtual world we inhabit. With intelligence, empathy, and the aid of a first-rate cast, Rubin fashions a powerful vision of our increasingly interconnected world—and proves himself as adept with fiction as he is with non-fiction.
—Jane Schoettle, Toronto International Film Festival