..Lese Dunton..

A Gem From Tribeca

Writer/Director Evan Oppenheimer on his film Justice, shown at the Tribeca Film Festival:

"I hope the timing is good. 9/11 is not quite as raw a nerve as it was. It's still sensitive, but we can start to talk about it, think about it, and address the loss that we faced...

"You have the plot of the movie, which is the characters and their interesting, fun stories, and then you have the theme, which is unexpected loss...That's why September 11th was so hard to deal with -- because we didn't see it coming...It's part of the movie, but there are also these stories that are happening that are hopefully an enjoyable way to get there."

The film stars Erik Palladino as a comic book writer named Drew. After 9/11, he's inspired to do a comic book on "real heroes" and creates a character named "Justice." Drew's friendships and experiences are seen in three different time sequences, so it's important to stay focused on what's going on. It all comes together poignantly at the end.

A small percentage of filmgoers don't get the ending. But, like Sixth Sense, some of the puzzling details stimulate post-movie discussions that could result in an enjoyable second viewing.

Humorous, intelligent and warm, Justice interweaves a variety of relationships into a gentle, thought-provoking story. Daphne Rubin Vega's performance is particularly touching.

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