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neumu
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Grey Zone cinematronic
  director

Tim Blake Nelson

cast

David Arquette, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino, Allan Corduner, Natasha Lyonne

year

2002

rating rating cinematronic
  It should be no surprise that "The Grey Zone," a Holocaust drama inspired by an actual prisoner rebellion at Auschwitz concentration camp, is profoundly bleak. The surprise lies in the fact that the film, which also tells the story of Jewish prisoners compelled to assist in the extermination of their fellow Jews, was written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson, the character actor best known for playing dimwitted hicks and snivelers ("O Brother, Where Art Thou," "The Good Girl"). Nelson also directed "O," a shrewd, hip-hop-infused update of Shakespeare's "Othello," so he shouldn't be underestimated. Speaking of going against type, the cast of "The Grey Zone" is led by the usually clownish David Arquette and odd-duck Steve Buscemi, effective as two Jewish captives. Tough guy Harvey Keitel wrestles with a German accent as the Nazi camp commander; winsome Mira Sorvino is admirable as a brave lesbian prisoner. "The Grey Zone" feels too theatrical when its issue of morality and expediency are addressed in modern, slangy rhythms, but its dramatic potency and relevance deserve commendation.  
cinematronic
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