Focus
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1

World War II saw tremendous anti-Semitism in Europe as the Germans carried out their plan to exterminate Jews from the world. However, that anti-Jewish sentiment also found its way across the Atlantic into the United States. Lawrence Newman (William H. Macy) makes his home in a quiet Brooklyn neighborhood. But quiet becomes a thing of the past as his neighbor Fred (Meat Loaf) and a few others begin attending racist meetings. They begin talking about expelling Mr. Fincklestein (David Paymer), the Jewish shop owner on the corner. To make things even more complicated, Lawrence starts getting harassed himself, primarily because his new bride, Gertrude (Laura Dern), looks Jewish. First-time director Neal Slavin exercises a great sense of pacing, as he allows tension to slowly build throughout the film. Macy delivers another fine performance in the lead. This powerful little film should be a hit in its limited release.

Since he is sympathetic to the Jewish shop owner, Lawrence quickly ends up in the middle of the neighborhood racial conflict. Lawrence knows its wrong to make blanket statements about an entire race of people or accuse people of things simply because of their race, however, he desperately wants his neighborhood to a peaceful place. While his heart is in the right place, Lawrence allows fear to paralyze him to inaction, a choice with potentially devastating consequences for the entire neighborhood. The opening scene shows a couple fooling around and kissing. When the woman tries to stop the man from groping her, he throws her to the ground. Later scenes indicate the woman is raped. However, the major objectionable element is foul language, with God’s name used in vain twice along with four other regular profanities and three moderate crudities. Aside from that element, this would be a great film for older teen and adult audiences.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: Paramount Classics, 5555 Melrose Ave., Chevalier Bldg., No. 215, LA, CA 90038

Summary
Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 1, moderate 3
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Several (8) times Regular 6 (GD 2, J, Good G, For G sake, For C sake); Exclamatory 2 (OG)
Violence: Few times Mild and moderate (woman grabbed and thrown to ground, rape implied, man slapped, people punching and hitting with bats)
Sexual Intercourse: Once Implied (rape, although audience only sees brief struggle)
Nudity: Near Nudity Few times (woman shows lots of leg as man tries to reach up her skirt, woman in revealing clothes, woman in lingerie)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once (couple kisses and man tries to grope woman)
Drug Abuse: Several times (cigarette and cigar smoking)
Other: Anti-Semitism (and some anti-black sentiments) expressed by several characters in name-calling and false accusations; some anti-Semites use Christianity as justification for their viewpoint
Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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