Indignation: The Phillip Roth Novel You Know, the Star You Don't

Written by | Books, Entertainment

Marcus Messner (played by Logan Lerman, best known as the fresh-faced star of The Perks of Being a Wallflower) is a bright Jewish boy from New Jersey who manages to avoid being sent to the Korean War – and escapes his increasingly neurotic father – by going to college.

Image courtesy of Alison Cohe, & “Captain Fantastic” Cathy Kanavy/Bleecker Street

Image courtesy of Alison Cohe

There, he ends up in a series of complex relationships, including a pseudo-romance with a beautiful-but-troubled female student and falls afoul of one of the college’s Christian deans. The ensuing debates between Marcus and the dean are the most exciting and worthwhile parts of the film. THE WORD: Indignation is adapted from Phillip Roth’s 2008 novel of the same name, and — true to Roth’s literary legacy — the film is dazzlingly intelligent but not generous in terms of traditionally satisfying story arcs. Adapting Roth is a challenge (and historically a bad box office bet); so hats off to director James Schamus (screenwriter/producer on many of Ang Lee’s best films) for taking a risk. COMING TO: Theaters

Last modified: October 11, 2017