GEORGE WASHINGTON provides the audience with a unique look into the lives of a diverse group of teenage working-class kids marginalized by mainstream society.
I suppose it would be helpful if I told you a little bit about the plot. That, however, is easier said than done. It would be an understatement to say that GEORGE WASHINGTON is not exactly plot-driven. While this has the potential to destroy a movie, writer/director/producer Green manages to hold everything together by way of raw characterization. The filmís narrator, self-possessed and jaded 12-year-old Nasia (Evanofski), brings the audience into the lives of her playmates and neighbors in the rural backwaters of North Carolina.
Green does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the various characters in scenes enhanced via some truly arresting film images by cinematographer Tim Orr, but the film is far from flawless. The movie failed to captivate me as it went nowhere with the characters it developed.
Absolutely nothing happens in the first 25 minutes of this 90-minute drama, save for some scenes of various kids and townspeople sitting around and talking. While Green depicts some very realistic moments, they are interspersed with scenes that are so utterly meaningless that youíre left confused and searching for a way to tie it all together. Adding to this confusion is a lack of acting talent. The use of non-actors, intended to give GEORGE WASHINGTON a realistic, documentary look, backfires as the exchange of dialogue is at times forced. As a result, the film feels disjointed.
That said, GEORGE WASHINGTON may have to be a renter so that you can stop and rewind as needed when the puzzling scenes leave you bewildered. As long as youíre willing to take a chance on something more cerebral and slow-paced than your average film, you will likely walk away marveling at this unique work of art. The imperfections make GEORGE WASHINGTON different and somewhat strange, but strangely beautiful.