• Belated Comebacker

    While hiding out, Connie watches a reality crime show and the nightly news (the only way he has of monitoring the police who are in pursuit). The people he sees are very much like him. The difference is that the film we’re watching doesn’t treat his character as a sideshow spectacle to boost ratings by giving us a vicarious thrill of violence and scandal. The film borrows some of the techniques of sensationalist television only to expose them as forms of moralistic judgement (the mores of the petit bourgeoisie) that hide in plain sight.

    I like this interpretation, as it shows in the movie, where you begin to feel for Connie after a while. Here’s a fiercely protective and loving brother, who thinks Nick deserves better than a prying ‘psychologist.’ However, I can’t help but wonder about the Sadie Brothers’ treatment of Ray, the small-time dumbass who’s whirlwind adventure immediately after getting released from prison landed him back in police custody (before getting sprung by Pattinson.) During his running monologue, it would appear as though Buddy Duress’ Ray is getting played for laughs.

    • John Bruni

      Ray is a foil to Connie: we simply can’t identify with Ray’s selfishness like we can with Connie’s love of his brother. Ray reminds us that not everyone who is a criminal, or once was one, is able, due to internal or external factors, to turn his/her life around–it’s amazing to me how fast Ray self-destructs.

      At the same time, we are reminded that Ray is what Connie could become–that’s what being in jail can do to people.

      • Belated Comebacker

        Well said, and I’d say Ray’s final fate in the movie suggests that the Safdie brothers are not entirely without moral compasses. When it comes to this minor supporting character, he has two choices after the police storm the apartment building: Take another fall in prison, or in life.

        • John Bruni

          And you wonder if Connie is falling too, just more slowly.

  • This is my #1 movie of the year so far. I love it.