Indignation was first shown in London as part of the Sundance London film festival. Based on a Philip Roth novel, it is set in Columbus, Ohio. It is the story of a New York boy’s first semester at college. The whole film is a flashback to 1951, showing how decisions made at that time, led to the position that he is in now.
This film is James Schamus’ first as director and he does an amazing job of immersing us in the milieu and mindset of the day. The sets and costumes are beautiful, with a lovely eye for detail.
Logan Lerman is excellent as Marcus Messner, an idealistic young man, setting out on life. His exchanges with the dean of the college and his relationship with his first girlfriend, adroitly show both the attitudes of the time and how they are about to change. Tracy Letts and Sarah Gadon are very good as the dean and the girlfriend.
Indignation is a precise, deep film and a brave choice as a directorial debut.
James Schamus’ self-confidence has paid off well.