“Indignation” is filmic storytelling at its best. It doesn’t hurt that the film is based on a 2008 novel of the same name by Phillip Roth (“Goodbye, Columbus”), or that the director and screenwriter is James Schamus, who wrote the screenplays for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Ice Storm,” “Eat Drink Man Woman” and “The Wedding Banquet.” “Indignation” takes place in 1951, as Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman), a brilliant, idealistic, working-class Jewish boy from Newark, New Jersey, travels on scholarship to a small, conservative college in Ohio, thus exempting him from being drafted into the Korean War. But once there, Marcus has to deal with anti-Semitism and sexual repression; he develops a growing infatuation with his beautiful classmate Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), and he clashes with the college’s imposing Dean, Hawes Caudwell (Tracy Letts). Despite all that, Marcus rises above the oppression of the bleak time — until his mother’s decision to divorce his father triggers off a series of events that shapes and alters everyone’s lives forever. This movie is cinematic perfection — the directing, dialogue, acting, production design, music and cinematography are top notch. And the centerpiece of the film — a lengthy conversation between Marcus and the Dean — is a masterpiece of dialogue and pacing. All in all, one of the best films of the year. Vitals: Director: James Schamus. Stars: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Ben Rosenfield, Linda Emond. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 111 min., Drama, Box office gross: $3.216 million, Lionsgate. Extras: “Timeless: Connecting the Past to the Present” featurette, “Perceptions: Bringing Philip Roth to the Screen” featurette.
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.