Jeff Labrecque
May 14, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Elephant

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
81 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/24/03
performer
Timothy Bottoms, Matt Malloy, Alex Frost, John Robinson
director
Gus Van Sant
distributor
Fine Line Features
author
Gus Van Sant
genre
Drama

We gave it a C-

A film inspired by the Columbine shootings isn’t necessarily obligated to answer the question Why?, and Gus Van Sant’s Cannes darling, Elephant, doesn’t even try. The director, who cast real students instead of professional actors, attempted to create the faux reality of a tragedy waiting to happen in Anytown, USA. But his movie, more shockudrama than docu-drama — the killers are fascist homosexuals, the mean girls go to the bathroom together to throw up their lunches — turns out to be more inexplicable than the event it reconstructs. EXTRAS Like the proverbial elephant in the room, the bonus features are largely ignored: There’s just the 12-minute ”On the Set of Elephant: Rolling Through Time,” a video scrapbook that you won’t watch twice.

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