Bettina’s Take: Detachment Cinema Society Screening

Our educational system is in trouble. Anyone who saw Waiting For Superman is aware of just how broken it is. Detachment, the new film starring Adrien Brody, gives a fictionalized look at this problem, while also focusing on the toll this takes on teachers who are dedicated to their craft and have witnessed the unraveling of their particular school. Adrien Brody plays a substitute teacher who tries to help his students and a young prostitute that he finds on the street. Brody's character can only go so far with these teens; he has a problem connecting because of his own traumas.

Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca film praised Brody's performance at the Cinema Society Screening, sponsored by American Express.

"Adrien's performance is extraordinary," said Rosenthal, wearing The Row and Sidney Garber jewelry. "When you look at what's going in the educational system and how kids are learning, the frustration that's going on, the fact that this is the United States and this is the best we have to offer really sheds light into the places where we should be looking more carefully, like the public school system."

"There is a quality to this movie that is incredibly raw. I'm happy to be part of something that everyone so enthusiastically wanted to participate in even though it was really low budget," said Lucy Liu, wearing Chadwick Bell. "Anything that we try to do in entertainment is meant to touch somebody or move them, and I think this movie definitely has that impact."

Newcomer Sami Gayle was only fourteen when she played Erica, the young prostitute, her first film role. Smart and articulate, Gayle, wearing Miu Miu and Fred Leighton jewels, is a young actress to watch.

"Playing a prostitute was pretty challenging," said Gayle, after her photo-op with a Dolce & Gabbana-clad Brody. "I watched Pretty Woman and I watched Taxi Driver to help me prepare. Coming into a role like this with no film experience was definitely scary but it was the best experience of my life. Adrien really guided me through the entire process, and [director] Tony Kaye as well."

The movie was relentlessly anxiety-provoking, but worth seeing. Guests made their way to the new Standard in the East Village after the screening, where Lea Thompson, Tony Bennett, Edie Falco, Rachel Roy and Nanette Lepore mingled and grazed at the healthy buffet. The newly redone hotel looks more open, inviting and welcoming than in its earlier incarnation as the Cooper Square.

A far cry from the classrooms in the movie.

Photo: Lucy Liu, Adrien Brody, Sami Gayle and Betty Kaye