Director: James Gray Run Time: 114 min. Release Year: 2022
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, Banks Repeta, Jaylin Webb, Jeremy Strong
From acclaimed filmmaker James Gray, Armageddon Time is a deeply personal coming-of-age story about the strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American Dream. Set against the backdrop of a country on the cusp of ominous sociopolitical change, Armageddon Time follows Paul Graff (Banks Repeta), a sixth grader who dreams of becoming an artist. At the same time that Paul builds a friendship with classmate Johnny (Jaylin Webb), who’s mercilessly targeted by their racist teacher, he finds himself increasingly at odds with his parents (Jeremy Strong and Anne Hathaway), for whom financial success and assimilation are key to the family’s Jewish-American identity. Paul feels on firmest ground with his kind grandfather (a marvelous Anthony Hopkins), whose life experiences have granted him a weathered compassion.
Writer/director James Gray is an American film director and screenwriter who made his first film Little Odessa (1994) at the age of twenty-five. The film, received critical acclaim and was the winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Silver Lion Award in 1994. Since then he has made seven other features, five of which competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. As a child growing up in Queens, New York, Gray aspired to be a painter. However, when introduced in his early teenage years to the works of various filmmakers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Gray’s interests expanded to the art of filmmaking.
“Armageddon Time, though a finely tuned picture of the past, is also strikingly modern and a painful reminder of how little we have progressed and how quickly people forget. In other words, it’s essential.” ~ Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
“Although much of the action unfolds in a minor key, its impact on Paul is all too major; the adolescent mind, as Gray understands, can be a tool of magnification.” ~ Anthony Lane, New Yorker