The Education of Charlie Banks marks the film debut of Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. And what a remarkable debut it is! The film's themes deal with love, change and facing one's fears. Durst really makes the characters come to life and, despite many films of the same ilk, creates a likable antagonist--albeit a brutally violent one--who proves to be human, despite all his flaws. Jason Ritter plays a fearsome character, but just as the protagonist, Charlie Banks, expressed his need to "protect" him, I too sensed something in him that was precious. Unlike Variety magazine, who said Ritter "simply lacks sufficient menace and charisma," I find Ritter to be quite right for the role. In fact, the next day, I met him at Club Embargo and asked him not to beat me up! The real star, however, is Jesse Eisenberg, who plays the lovable Charlie Banks. His sincerity and genuine concern for others rightfully took an emotional toll on me as I sat in the theater. Tom Huckabee mentioned the film ought to be up for an Oscar nomination. I think I could agree with that.
The Education of Charlie Banks is a coming of age tale that spans from the playgrounds of lower Manhattan to the idyllic greens of a fictional liberal arts college in upstate New York. Set during the eighties, it is a story about change, inevitability, and ultimately, about facing one's fears.
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