When Focus Features was in its heyday, much of the reason for their success was due to former CEO James Schamus. He was behind many of the indie label's most fruitful collaborations with filmmakers such as Ang Lee, Michel Gondry, and Sofia Coppola. At Sundance Schamus premiered his directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth's book, Indignation, and the first trailer for it is here. Is Schamus as adept at directing as he is at producing the work of others?
Led by Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts, the film follows a working class Jewish boy who heads to a conservative college in Ohio at the height of the Korean War. The trailer is solid if a little dry and humorless, but this looks like it could be the finest role of Lerman's career, or at least on the level of what he accomplished in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Here's the full synopsis:
"Based on Philip Roth’s late novel, Indignation takes place in 1951, as Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman), a brilliant working class Jewish boy from Newark, New Jersey, travels on scholarship to a small, conservative college in Ohio, thus exempting him from being drafted into the Korean War. But once there, Marcus’s growing infatuation with his beautiful classmate Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), and his clashes with the college’s imposing Dean, Hawes Caudwell (Tracy Letts), put his and his family’s best laid plans to the ultimate test."
Indignation opens July 29th.