The Oath Review - Strong Character Driven Performances Carry this Politically Charged Dark Comedy

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Oath, from Roadside Attractions, presents the story of one family’s attempt to survive Thanksgiving dinner as the deadline to sign an ordered presidential loyalty oath approaches and violent protests, demonstrations and riots fill the streets.

Directed, written and starring Ike Barinholtz, The Oath also stars Tiffany Haddish, Nora Dunn, Chris Ellis, Carrie Brownstein, Jay Duplass, Jon Barinholtz, Meredith Hagner, John Cho, Billy Magnussen, Max Greenfield, and Priah Ferguson.

The Oath opens with Americans are given one year Chris, played by Ike Barinholtz and Kai, played by Tiffany Haddish, are watching the late night news when the anchor explains the president has ordered all Americans to sign a loyalty oath and designating Black Friday, in one year, as the deadline for compliance.


The Happy Prince Review - Strong Cast, Solid Directing, Brings to Life the Final Days of the Literary Genius


The film fast forwards to three days before Thanksgiving and the deadline. Chris and Kai decided early on they wouldn’t sign the oath. As the deadline nears civil unrest ensues, a news junkie, Chris is watching society disintegrate. The last working day before the Thanksgiving holiday, Chris is watching the world erupt when one of his work colleagues, played by Max Greenfield, a fellow protestor, hold out and vigilant “Refuser” explains that he’s signing.

Chris is politically volatile. He is a constitution spouting American citizen who believes in the freedom of the United States. He is loyal to his country and when elected leadership is the antithesis of his beliefs he is the first, middle and last to vocalize it. And now it is Thanksgiving with the family.

Kai has made it clear no oath talk, no political talk, just don’t talk about anything for three days.

Soon the door bell rings and Mom, played by Nora Dunn, and Dad, played by Chris Ellis, arrive and all is well. Then Pat, played by Jon Barinholtz, and his girlfriend, Abbie, played by Meredith Hagner, arrive and of course the two brothers are totally opposites and one con only imagine how many times their parent had to run interference.

And finally Alice, played by Carrie Brownstein and her husband, who has the flu, played by Jay Duplass, who remains sick in bed throughout most of the holiday.

So the first night, they all go to dinner and with the deadline approaching tempers everywhere are flaring with strangers pitted against strangers, and of course as tightly wound as Chris is he can’t let it pass even as Kai explains three days, three days and the holiday is over and everyone will believe it was a success.

Like any junkie Chris, in between basting the turkey, is taking news breaks and watching as the deterioration of society, demonstrations turning violent, rioting resulting in cities burning, and Civil Rights icons being arrested for refusing to sign, and promising not to talk about it during dinner.

Of course we all know where this is heading, a volcanic eruption of criticisms, disapproval and frustrations between brothers capped with the accusations of political cowardice, superiority, revelations of who signed the oath and what it says about the persona and personality.

After dinner, the film moves into he second act and equally shocking.

I have to say, The Oath, if it weren’t so well written, poignant and timely, would be just another holiday filler. The truth is that while it is a political dark dramady, it rings of concern, truth and possibility.

I was surprised at how well it held up. The storyline, obviously birthed out of frustration of the recent political climate speaks to the extreme of the current times. The ensemble cast pulls off the family gathering with authenticity deflecting any challenging conversation with the creamy mashed potatoes.

As The Oath is his first feature film directorial debut, Ike Barinholtz builds a solid, funny, shocking, climatic, highly charged drama that has enough crazy hysteria to make use of Tiffany Haddish's depth of comedic talent. It is well done.


Making Montgomery Clift Review - A Reveling Documentary Filled with Hollywood Secrets, Lies and Truth


Strong character driven performances make this politically charged dark comedy work. There were scenes that were so real and genuine that I found myself thinking, “Perfect” as they played out exactly as they are in the two days leading up to the Thanksgiving feast.

The film captures the attention and really plays out the worst fears many expected under the new totalitarian ruling White House and one wants to believe takes it to the extreme.

The Oath is funny in all the right places and honestly down right concerning in others. Ike Barinholtz takes politics and turns it into a freaky hysterical experience with an exclamation point ending.

The Oath opens October 12, 2018. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Five Dead; Nine Injured in Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A lone gunman has been taken into custody at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Florida, Airport after firing multiple shots killing five and injuring nine. Real time tweets from former Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer provided actual, real time, credible information.

     
  • Hackett Mill Gallery Announces Summer/Fall/Winter 2018 Programming

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The summer at Hackett Mill brings a solo feature by San Francisco painter Raimonds Staprans who is exhibiting several never before seen pieces and New York Studio School alumni living on the West Coast will present West Coast Connections.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama, G7 Meet; Hillary Kicks Off Campaign; Rachel Dolezal; Jurassic World Rules

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama attended the G7 Summit where the nations present affirmed a uniformed approached to key issues effecting all countries, including the recovery process of the economic recession, the direction of the war on ISIS and sanctions on Russia.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Flipflops/Faces Lawsuit; Mueller/Manafort Arrest; NY AG Files; WH Shakeup; Elizabeth Holmes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump, and his three adult children, have been named in a lawsuit brought by New York state Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood, for what was called "persistent illegal conduct" that continued for "more than a decade." 

     
  • KUNG FU Panda 3 Review - High Flying Hijinks, Pandamania, and Just a Super Good Time

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    KUNG FU Panda 3, from DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century FOX, presents a high flying, beautifully animated, and perfectly crafted story of family, redemption, hope and unity while re-introducing ancient cultures and treating audiences to fun, hijinks, laughter and delight.

     
  • Curls Hair Care Creator Celebrates a Decade in Business

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mahisha Dellinger, CURLS hair care founder and creator, has for the past ten years embraced the ethnic hair care market, running riglet's around her competition with her Curls brand product line.

     
  • Beltway Insider: President Justifies Iraq Action; National Guard Moves on Ferguson; Gov Perry Indicted

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama, on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, has made the unusual decision to interrupt his family holiday and return to the White House as global conflicts and domestic violence has escalated despite calls for calm and sustainable peace treaties. 

     
  • September 11, 2001 - We Remember

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    Today marks the 14th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The reading of the names of the lives lost in the attacks happened this morning at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

     
  • Money News: Dow Caught in Bear Trap; World Markets Split 80/20

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average fell to the bear over the past week with limited collateral damage across global markets as the world markets bounced back from the devastating free-fall of the past week. 

     
  • Miss Piggy Serves as Official Fire Girl at DKNY Madison Avenue’s Fashion’s Night Out Event in Honor of the FDNY 2013 Calendar of Heroes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Disney's mega diva Miss Piggy, dressed in head-to-hoof DKNY, was on hand to celebrate the official FDNY 2013 Calendar of Heroes at a pre-Fashion's Night Out event at the DKNY Madison Avenue boutique in New York City.

     
  • The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English: A Five Star Infusion

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Chef Todd English recently celebrated the Grand Opening Reception of The Plaza Food Hall located on the lower level of the iconic New York Plaza Hotel situated on the intersection of Central Park and Fifth Avenue.

     
  • The Fastest Growing Companies in America

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

Login Form