Tony Kaye could have had the world as his oyster. An award-winning commercial and music video director, he landed one of the hottest scripts around, with a fast-rising star, for his directorial debut, “American History X,” with Edward Norton. But after falling out with his star in post-production when Norton recut the film, and unsuccessfully trying to have his name taken off and replaced with the credit ‘Humpty Dumpty,’ Kaye landed in director’s jail, and any hope of a comeback has been squashed; he helmed the tremendous documentary “Lake of Fire,” but the tough source material stopped it from reaching a wider audience, and his sophomore film, the thriller “Black Water Transit,” languishes in post-production hell three years after filming.
But at long last, another feature film from the director arrived, with school-set drama “Detachment” arriving at the Tribeca Film Festival last spring. Starring Adrien Brody as a troubled subsitute teacher who enters a struggling inner-city school, with Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden, Tim Blake Nelson, Bryan Cranston, Lucy Liu, James Caan and William Petersen among the supporting cast, the project’s finally set for release thanks to Tribeca Films in March, with an iTunes release leading the way next month, and a film’s trailer up on Apple right now.
And it certainly looks intriguing, we have to say. While we’re a little put off by the less-than-attractive digital lensing, and by the precious, sub-Spike Lee conceit of calling the film “A Tony Kaye Talkie,” it looks rich and moving, and Brody seems to be in his best form for a while. If our Tribeca review is anything to go by, the film is flawed, but fascinating, and this could well make an interesting antidote to other more polished product in the next few months. It hits iTunes on February 24th, before rolling out in limited theaters on March 16th; watch the trailer below, or in HD over at Apple.