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The Green
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10 from 651 votes
Release: 30 April 2011 (USA) /

The Green

Genre: Drama
Director: Steven Williford,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: Michael Gavin and his partner Daniel trade the rat race of New York City for the idyllic charm of the Connecticut shoreline, with hopes of a simpler life and time for Michael to finish his first novel. All that changes when one of Michael's high school students accuses him of 'inappropriate conduct', and the town rushes to judgment. Written by Outfest Film Festival

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Critic Reviews

THE GREEN (to satisfy many people's quandary about the name) refers to the luxuriant fields and trees of Connecticut: in this film it represents the haven for escaping the chaos of New York City to the quiet and civilized country. Strike 'civilized', as this film is about anything but civilized behavior on the part of the townspeople where schoolteacher/writer Michael Gavin (Jason Butler Harner) and his longtime partner, locavore caterer Daniel (Cheyenne Jackson) move from the chaotic life of New York City to the gentility of the small Connecticut town. Michael and Gavin are gay: Michael elects to keep his sexuality sub rosa in his new job as a teacher in a private high school, a 'don't ask-don't tell' adaptation, while Daniel simply goes about his catering business with his assistant Glenn (Michael Godere). Michael makes a good friend with Trish (Illeana Douglas) who has a healthy outlook despite the presence of recurring cancer requiring chemotherapy. Trish tries to warn Michael of the gossip in the school, but it is not until Michael attempts to defend a bright student Jason (Chris Bert) that the students and teachers and parents accuse Michael of inappropriate behavior with the shy Jason.

Once the accusation is made the town escalates the situation, Jason runs away from home, and Jason's parents Leo (Bill Sage) and Janette (Karen Young) decide to go after Michael in court. The men's friends Philip (Boris McGiver) and Bethanne (Mary B. McCann) attempt to help Michael but it becomes apparent that Michael need's a special lawyer - and that expert lawyer is Karen (Julia Ormond) who happens to be in a committed lesbian relationship. An old truth comes out: Michael had a prior arrest in NYC years ago for indecent exposure (police entrapment), but worse than for the case progress is the fact that Michael has never told Daniel about the incident, a fact that creates a serious schism between the two men. There is a surprising truth that enters into the story that provides an ending few could anticipate and revealing any aspect of it would taint the experience of the new viewer.

The brilliant script was written by Paul Marcarelli and the film is directed with great sensitivity by Steven Williford. The entire cast is first rate, but special kudos have been earned by Jason Butler Harner, Cheyenne Jackson, Illeana Douglas and Julia Ormond - each deserves careful consideration for awards. But the power of this excellent film is the presentation of homophobia both on the part of the townspeople and students and faculty, but also in the way Michael has elected to lead his life: his own fear of his true identity is as much the cause of his downfall as the external forces. There are many lessons to be learned form this film, but above all THE GREEN is an example of superb American independent film making at its best, presenting an excellent story in a sophisticated, mature, and reasonable manner. Highly Recommended.

Grady Harp

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