DVD Review - The Ghost of Saint Aubin

Brian Marable is a news reporter
in "The Ghost of Saint Aubin"
I liked the idea of this movie more than I liked its actual execution. Brian Marable plays Carter McBride, an African-American news reporter who works for a fictionalized version of CNN called GNN. Carter goes to Detroit, Michigan, to interview Benjamin Banneker Smith, played by Joel Stiengold, a handsome, black architect who is planning on constructing a complex called Saint Aubin Place. Saint Aubin will have retail, offices and condos. Benjamin wants to build Saint Aubin in a blighted area, but Carter also interviews the Detroit police about a murder as well as other crimes at Saint Aubin that ultimately could interfere with the construction plans.

Half, if not all of Carter's scenes are done with Carter talking directly to the camera as if he's doing a news report live on television. Carter acknowledges a cameraman whom we never see. The rest of the movie, the scenes involving Benjamin, is done in a straight-forward manner.

Yet, there is this side storyline where a former convict talks about his girlfriend who mysteriously disappeared. The guy here basically sits and recounts what happened like he's giving an interview. This gave me the thought that this movie should have been done entirely as a mockumentary. It shouldn't have been a comedy. It does have very serious issues, and writer-director-actor Alan Bradley is half-way there, so he might as well have gone all the way and made this whole thing a faux documentary.

Bradley's movie raises a lot of important issues, but that's all it does. It seems as if Bradley is only trying to bring awareness to these issues or the general plight of Detroit, but I get no sense of Bradley's position or what exactly he thinks should be done. By the end, Carter has gone through no arc and has really learned nothing. Neither does anyone else.

One Star out of Five.
Not Rated But Recommended for 14 and Up.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 20 mins.


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