Justin Schwarz

Quadratic Media

Griffin Dunne is part of a select group of actors who not only aren’t in nearly enough films but who also should be in every film. Like an admittedly far less manic Sam Rockwell he brings a specifically appealing persona with him from film to film, one that encourages a smile from viewers in comedies and dramas alike. Dunne projects the bodily form of an oppressed everyman, the weight of the world slumping his shoulders down even closer to the earth, and he carries it with a mix of determination and unavoidable defeat. His greatest triumph remains the blackly comic magic act that is Martin Scorsese’s After Hours, but a rare leading role has once again afforded him the opportunity to shine in bristly fashion. Lewis Birch (Dunne) is a professor at a community college that prizes tuition fees over actual education, but Lewis’ disgust at that realization is overshadowed by his plan to leave it all behind. He’s written a book detailing an unexplored side of the famed Lewis & Clark expedition story, and a university press is offering to publish it. The divorced father of two decides to spend his week with his two teenagers on a road trip, but the journey is peppered with bad news, detours and poor planning. The Discoverers is a road trip through histories both personal and textbook, and somewhere along the way the realization sets in that the cover is never truly closed on either one.

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published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015
B-, C-

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