Thank You, Ottawa!


The ByTowne is now closed.

It's possible that, after the pandemic has been brought under control,
new management will take over the space and offer big-screen wonderfulness again.

The building is being maintained, with all its facilities and equipment intact,
in preparation for that hoped-for day.
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Based on the novel by Philip Roth.

Poster for the literary adaptation IndignationMarcus (Logan Lerman), the bright son of a New Jersey butcher, is dazzled when he arrives at Winesburg College in Ohio in 1951. Though the times are troubled – the Korean War rages in the background, and attitudes toward both sexuality and mental illness, as depicted in the film, were less than enlightened – everything looks like a dream. The campus, in the words of the Philip Roth novel on which the film is based, ‘could have been the backdrop for one of those Technicolor college movie musicals where all the students go around singing and dancing instead of studying’.

It’s a visual style that reflects the gazing-back poignancy of the 2008 book: Roth was himself a Jewish student from Jersey who attended a small liberal-arts college in the early ‘50s; we see, in Marcus and his fate, a road not taken. The character is extremely articulate, perhaps almost too writerly so – but that’s part of the film’s very literary appeal as we watch Marcus struggle to understand his fellow students, particularly the beguiling, troubled Olivia (Sarah Gadon). With impeccable performances – particularly an electric, extended scene between Marcus and the college dean (Tracy Letts), and Gadon, whose wistful character has a face full of secrets – Indignation is an elegant debut for longtime producer Schamus; a visit to the past, with both sunshine and darkness.

– Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times

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