C.O.G.

C.O.G.
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  • Tendenza LGBT GG
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    • (3 voti)
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Cast

C.O.G.

Il film inizia con l’appena laureato David (Jonathan Groff) che, volendo diventare scrittore, pensa di aver bisogno di fare qualche esperienza di vita reale e decide quindi di trascorrere l’estate lavorando in una fattoria dell’Oregon dove si raccolgono mele. Come provetto romanziere si trova anche un’altro nome, Samuel (ricordando Samuel Beckett), col quale si presenta alla fattoria. L’irascibile proprietario Hobbs (Dean Stockwell) accetta di assumerlo per l’estate. Spavaldo quanto basta da farsi subito chiamare Einstein dai colleghi di lavoro (quasi tutti immigrati), David si rende presto conto di quanto sia poco romantico lavorare (il maglione bianco non era il più adatto) e relazionarsi con persone che nemmeno parlano la tua lingua (lui ha studiato solo il giapponese). Intanto la sua amica/fidanzata Jennifer (Troian Bellisario) lo abbandona per un altro. Dopo diversi giorni di lavoro passati quasi in solitudine, si accorge che il bel carellista Curly (Corey Stoll) lo sta praticamente corteggiando. Noi non sappiamo se David sia consapevole della sua sessualità, certo che adesso deve fare i conti su quello che veramente è e vuole. Durante un viaggio in città incontra un veterano di guerra, Jon (Denis O’Hare), fervente religioso che si definisce C.O.G (Child of God), col quale stringe amicizia. David/Samuel finora si è sempre professato ateo convinto, credendosi una persona più pragmatica che spirituale, e pensa quindi che Jon non abbia molto da insegnarli. Anche su questo fronte David dovrà ricredersi, anche perchè Jon non lo molla un attimo, prendendolo sotto le sue ali, come un mentore… Ricordiamo che il flim è ricavato dal racconto autobiografico dello scrittore gay David Sedaris, è diretto dal regista gay Kyle Patrick Alvarez (nel nostro db trovate anche il suo primo film “Easier with Practice” ), i due attori protagonisti, Jonathan Groff e Denis O’Hare sono anch’essi gay dichiarati (Groff ha lavorato in “Glee”, nel film gay “The Normal Heart” e adesso sta lavorando nella serie gay “Looking”). Il regista Alvarez ha detto: “Ho letto C.O.G. quando avevo circa 14 anni, su un aereo e mi ha fatto atterrare assai più ricco e pesante di quando ero partito. Il modo in cui vengono presentati la religione e i personaggi mi è rimasto dentro per più di deci anni, fino a quando ho deciso di esprimerli con questo film”. Il film ha già vinto il premio FIPRESCI Nuovo Cinema Americano con questa motivazione: “Film non sentimentale ma dal cuore aperto, l’adattamento di Alvarez del racconto di Sedaris, ci mostra un’avvincente storia di autorealizzazione giovanile, l’incontro con la classe lavoratrice, la sessualità e la religione, rifuggendo qualsiasi stereotipo o identità politica di moda. Il suo percorso narrativo è fondamentalmente ribelle, tuttavia il suo taglio eccentrico, l’evocazione visiva del fertile e lieve paesaggio del Pacifico nord-occidentale, e l’uso della musica percussiva di Steve Reich, ci immergono in mondo molto particolare e creano un film dallo slancio imprevedibile, pieno di sottile umorismo e risonanza emotiva”

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  1. Ottime la regia e la fotografia, sopra la sufficienza la recitazione. Ho trovato la storia banale, che in alcuni momenti rasenta il ridicolo, ma c’è sicuramente qualcosa di salvabile. A tratti fin troppo realistico, è da guardare senza troppe aspettative.

Commenta


trailer: C.O.G.

Varie

CRITICA:

“Channeling a rather more caustic, hard-R version of Sedaris from the get-go, Alvarez begins, as the essay does, on the bus to Oregon, as preppy David (Jonathan Groff) endures the humiliations of being among heathens. Hoping to connect with his inner Steinbeck — and determined to suppress his inner homosexual — David takes a job harvesting apples, reinventing himself as “Samuel” among a mostly Mexican workforce not at all amused by the dilettante in their midst.
Samuel’s brush with the common man offers ample opportunity for physical comedy, and Groff juggles everything from pratfalls to deadpan disbelief, paving the way for the far more serious — and infinitely trickier — emotional gymnastics ahead. Opting for dialogue over narration, Alvarez needs a star whom auds can easily read, and Groff has the gift, earning instant identification even early on, when the character is at his most arrogant, and taking it progressively deeper as his personal tests intensify.
Sent into town on a demeaning errand by the foreman (a hilariously surly Dean Stockwell), Samuel meets a haggard-looking Evangelical, Jon (Denis O’Hare), who demands to know whether he considers himself a “C.O.G.” (or “child of God”). Lately, there’s barely room for “Samuel,” much less Jesus Christ, in David’s life, and he politely declines salvation for the time being. Instead, he accepts a job at an apple-processing plant, which comes with the bonus of a flirty forklift operator named Curly (Corey Stoll, treading the line between blue-collar stud and back-alley rapist).
At this point, Alvarez feels the need to slightly embellish Sedaris’ essay: Pic gives the character more backstory and suggests that the trip is a homecoming of sorts for the still-closeted David, inventing several scenes in which he calls his mom (who clearly hasn’t taken well to the news) to let her know he’s in the area. As for the location itself, the production benefits enormously by shooting in Portland and Fort Hood, Ore., adding texture to a project so dependent on authenticity.
When things go sour with Curly, Samuel feels he has no choice but to call Jon, who’s glad to have a potential convert. Though Samuel is no fan of the Bible (his gripe? “It’s poorly written,” he quips), he does his best while staying under Jon’s roof to take all the prayer and proselytizing seriously — as does the film, which by this point has evolved from satire (characterized by disarming happy-slappy music) to more ambiguous, soul-searching terrain.
Meeting with an ex-girlfriend (Troian Bellisario) early in the film, the David/Samuel character corrects her use of the world “sadomasochism,” suggesting that his willingness to take buses, pick apples and so forth qualifies as plain old masochism. That may be true of Sedaris, but there’s a bit of the sadist in Alvarez, who likes to make his audiences squirm, and the way he handles the film’s conflicting temptations — Christianity and homosexuality — should do the trick.
Though political correctness isn’t on the agenda, one thing is clear: In a film where the protagonist is constantly being forced to re-evaluate the belittling stereotypes he holds of others (be they immigrants, churchgoers, factory workers, etc.), there’s no room to propagate the reductive characterizations others have of gays. It’s what makes the film’s final scene, of compromised self-acceptance, feel so heartbreaking.” (Peter Debruge, Variety.com)

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I knew very little about this film when I went into it except that it was inspired in some way by a David Sedaris essay. It surpassed my expectations in a beautiful and lasting way. It’s extraordinarily funny – often in surprising ways. Like Sedaris’ writing, things just happen, and it’s the protagonist’s reactions that allow the audience to enter this world of poignant meaninglessness. The characters and situations can be so absurd at times that you wonder what kind of world this is, how realistic or how exaggerated or how cinematic – but then you realize that life can really be like that… Groff does a stellar job playing with an open-minded and humorous pretentiousness. But what I thought was most impressive was Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s subtly-brilliant treatment of both sexuality and religion, both of which are such matter-of-fact gray areas in the film that they leave the viewer wondering without ever asking him to. Great film – definitely catch it when it comes out. (ramrock77, Imdb – voto 9/10)

Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s C.O.G. is the first film to be based on the work of David Sedaris. It’s clearly a passion project for Alvarez, and the picture is faithful to the events of the autobiographical story “C.O.G.,” about Sedaris working in rural Oregon to see how “real” people live (and to cheese off his father in the process). But the choice not to include narration robs the movie of Sedaris’s voice, and consequently much of its joy, as does the decision to portray the character of David (Jonathan Groff) as a smug, Yale-educated atheist who’s running away from home because his mother rejected him for being gay. What was very funny in print becomes serious and occasionally dour onscreen, with fewer laughs than you would expect from a Sedaris project. The faithfulness to the original story is almost jarring for those who’ve read it, since the character has been changed into an insufferable nozzle, playing up the worst stereotypes of the intellectual atheist, so when amusing, Sedaris–specific details appear, they no longer fit this version of David. Still, if C.O.G. opens the floodgates for Sedaris adaptations, here’s hoping someone (maybe even Alvarez, who has the chops) will do justice to “The Santaland Diaries.” (Sherilyn Connelly, Villagevoice.com)

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