The Green is a film about Michael, a teacher who leaves behind New York City for a progressive high school in a quiet Connecticut suburb, and whose life is turned upside down when he is a accused of inappropriate behavior with a male student.
The movie starts slow, which serves to give the viewer a glimpse into small town life where everyone knows everyone and affairs are a matter of public record. As the movie progresses the dialogue picks up with spot-on witty banter and the drama of real life relationships. It kicks into high gear when Michael is arrested and must seek the services of a local attorney to clear his name. The movie stars Jason Butler Harner, Illeana Douglas, Cheyenne Jackson, and Julia Ormond, who plays an attorney that — presumably due to her being a lesbian — takes Michael’s case.
Marriage is a recurring theme in the movie, and one debated from several viewpoints. For example, in one scene, Daniel makes reference to gay marriages being legal in the state and says he wants the traditional wedding experience; complete with vows, familial promises, and all the pomp and circumstance for which most weddings are known. Then, later in the movie, Ormond’s character is able to get back Daniel’s property which was taken during a warrant search at Michael’s home. She comments that it would have been much harder to get his property back had he and Michael been married.
At no point during the movie did I feel that Michael was guilty of the crimes for which he was charged, despite the introduction of a plot point telling us of Michael’s previous conviction for indecent exposure. The surprise in the film comes from Illeana Douglas, who plays Michael’s only real friend, and the one person who stands by him throughout his ordeals.
Steven Williford’s direction is competent, despite a few scenes in which the action devolves into soapy melodrama, a genre which Williford made a career.
The movie premiers this month and is available through Amazon in mid-November.