Authors: Douglas Reese
Location: Clarksville, Ohio
Written and Directed by Alan Ball
Score by Thomas Newman
Liam Aiken – Jeffrey Hooke
Drew Barrymore – Ms. Waters
Maria Bello – Frances Lion
Annette Bening – Ms. Harpen
Thora Birch – Monica Clinton-Harpen
Emily Browning – Selena Vega
Sean Connery – Paul
Kevin Costner – Mr. Danny Lion
Jamie Lee Curtis – Veronica Peabody
Dakota Fanning – Sarah Lion
Anna Faris – Taylor Dickinson
Becca Gardner – Sarah Franklin
Philip Baker Hall – Ronald McCormick
Michael C. Hall – David Brown
Vanessa Anne Hudgens – Marcia Santiago
Josh Hutcherson – Derek Brown
Christopher Lloyd – Mr. Mathis
Jennifer Lopez – Grace Santiago
Virginia Madsen – Carol Brown
Jena Malone – Michelle Franklin
Trevor Morgan – Adam Carlton
Al Pacino – Mayor George Daniels
Wayne Malloy Payne – Zachariah Albertson
Christina Ricci – Elizabeth Lion
Jeremy Sumpter – Jerry London
Mena Suvari – Lizzy Albertson
Evan Rachel Wood – Sharon Quincy
Synopsis: In this new ensemble drama written and directed by Academy Award winner Alan Ball comes “Infatuation”,one of the most powerful movies of the year.
The film focuses on many lives in a period of fourhours as troubled, easily angered young teenager DerekBrown (Josh Hutcherson) threatens to shoot himself in his private school, Redden, after he discovers his mother (Virginia Madsen) and father (Michael C. Hall) are getting a divorce. Although his father is on his son’s side 100%, the school counselor (Christopher Lloyd) considers Derek to be a criminal, not helping any with Derek’s self-esteem.
Redden Private School’s principal is Mr. Lion (Kevin Costner). Married to a caring and naïve wife (Maria Bello) and father of two daughters – an intelligent 12-year old spelling bee whiz (Dakota Fanning) and a troubled rock band groupie (Christina Ricci).
After three months of being unfaithful to his wife, Danny quits his affair with a suicidal senior student Monica (Thora Birch), but can’t help but keep trucking along with the flaming passion he shares with his secretary Veronica (Jamie Lee Curtis). Danny continuously tries to confess to his wife about the affairs but is afraid it might put an end to his happiness with his unsuspecting wife.
A sixth-grade teacher at Redden, Mrs. Harpen (Annette Bening) thinks nothing wrong of her daughter Monica. But during school, she is shocked with Monica’s confession that she is pregnant. Even though the baby belongs to Danny, she uses it as a weapon of revenge against the school jock who Monica used to love, Jerry London (Jeremy Sumpter).
Although he considers her a stalker, Jerry admittedly was in love with her at one time and a rumor of him having sex with her causes Jerry’s girlfriend of three years (Evan Rachel Wood) to turn down their relationship and going for Adam Carlton (Trevor Morgan), Jerry’s buddy and the quarterback of the football team.
Meanwhile, senior English teacher Ms. Waters (Drew Barrymore) has complications with her lesbian relationship with Taylor (Anna Faris). Taylor is obviously flirting with one of Waters’ students, Jeffrey Hooke (Liam Aiken). Although she is jealous, Waters is having an affair of her own with the 19-year old Michelle Franklin (Jena Malone).
Michelle’s parents died seven months ago, causing her to adopt her 15-year old sister Sarah (Becca Gardner). Michelle learns, unfortunately, that Sarah is having a sexual frenzy with the cocaine/heroin abusing Zachariah Albertson (Wayne Malloy Payne), a 32-year old who lives with his HIV-positive/bisexual/prostitute wife (Mena Suvari) in a crappy trailer a mile away from Redden.
Just moving into the city is sophomore Marcia Santiago (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) whose mother (Jennifer Lopez) is almost always on duty as a police officer for the county. Marcia is secretly wanting Jerry although she is building a hot-and-cold friendship with Jerry’s easily jealous ex-girlfriend (Emily Browning).
In the end, all of the people’s lives are put to the test when Derek threatens to shoot himself in the school video surveillance room. If Derek sees any of the school’s doors open, he will pull the trigger. The only way he’ll put down the gun is if his parents verbally say they will not go through with the divorce.
With the school on lockdown, all of the characters begin to become terrified as they sit in classrooms, bathrooms, or the library – not having the slightest clue what is going on behind locked doors or around the corner. This terror simply tests their minds as they learn to forgive, forget, love, and look into their true happiness.
Writer/director Alan Ball has surely put together an amazing picture that may go down as one of the great American movies in cinematic history!
What the press would say:
Hailed as a wonderful movie achievement, ‘Infatuation’ is a terrifying and realistic account on how terror can change a person’s emotions and feelings toward others, with writer/director Alan Ball still packaging his ingenious dark comedic trademark.
Josh Hutcherson is fantastic portraying the troubled young teen, not hitting a single false note. Richard Roeper hails, “Hutcherson is a young actor [who] can score a performance more powerful than any senior actor ever could!”
Virginia Madsen has a very small performance, but still packs depth and heart into her character.
Kevin Costner is moving as the principal who can’t help but break the rules that could possibly end his track of happiness. Rolling Stones’ Peter Travers says “his performance is deep enough to move even the strongest of hearts!”
Maria Bello is equally fascinating as Costner’s wife. Travers says, “Bello is surely more fascinating in this role than she ever was in every other Oscar-caliber role she’s been in, making us care for a character so real that we feel like she is family and we’ve known her for a very long time!” And it is rare to see a performance be pulled off like that!
The whole cast is flawless! Even the ‘Scary Movie’ series’ Anna Faris packs a strong dramatic punch of exceptional work as an actress! “The whole cast is up for gold!” hails Roger Ebert. “Even roles turned in by Philip Baker Hall, Sean Connery, and Al Pacino although they all could be considered under five minutes each!”
The wonderful ensemble flick takes its time to unfold, running 206 minutes and not missing a single plot point, this is the most complete and finished ensemble pieces in years, and surely a modern-day American classic!
Directed by a masterful director and featuring a mesmerizing and unbelievably star-studded cast, ‘Infatuation’ is a truly magnificent and unforgettably auspicious picture that will leave it viewer scarred at their very deepest!
So please award this greatly deserving treasure:
Best Director – Alan Ball
Best Original Screenplay – Alan Ball
Best Supporting Actor – Aiken, Connery, Costner, Philip Baker Hall, Michael C. Hall, Hutcherson, Lloyd, Morgan, Pacino, Payne, or Sumpter.
Best Supporting Actress – Barrymore, Bello, Bening, Birch, Browning, Curtis, Fanning, Faris, Gardner,
Hudgens, Lopez, Madsen, Malone, Ricci, Suvari, or Wood.
Best Original Score
Best Film Editing