Dean DVD Review: Funny, Uncomfortable, Emotional, and Beautiful

Dean is a film about grief and how people deal with the aftermath of death differently. In the the film, Dean (Demetri Martin) and his father Robert (Kevin Kline) are dealing with all of the turbulence and unpredictability of life after the loss of a loved one. While Dean is mourning the loss of his mother by escaping into his art and to Los Angeles from New York, Robert is dealing with the loss of his wife be trying to carve out a new identity. While the two have great love for one another, their vastly different ways of grieving cause conflict, tensions, and pain, in their father-son relationship.

Dean is Demetri Martin’s filmmaking debut as both writer and director. This is a film that deals with grief and the aftermath of loss in a very real way. The truths that Martin lays out are poignant and will resonate with audiences, especially those who have experienced the death of a loved one. This film is funny, uncomfortable, emotional, and beautiful. The story does not claim have easy answers about loss and it does not tie up mourning in a pretty little package. Dean explores the idea that grief and loss are complicated things and those things can cause people to intersect in unexpected ways.

Demetri Martin is great as an actor in this film and there are other stand-out performances by Kline, Gillian Jacobs as Dean’s love interest in Los Angeles, Rory Scovel as Dean’s friend in Los Angeles, Mary Steenburgen as Robert’s realtor, and Reid Scott as Dean’s best friend.

The special features on the DVD include: This Is a Movie: Making Dean, Drawing on Film: Stories About Dean, and Dean: Q & A with Demetri Martin and Rory Scovel.

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Darcy Staniforth

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