Watch The Discoverers
- 1 hr 44 min
The Discoverers, a 2012 independent film directed by Justin Schwarz, is a heart-warming dramedy that follows the journey of a dysfunctional family as they struggle to come to terms with their past and embrace their future. The movie stars Griffin Dunne as Lewis Birch, a down-on-his-luck history academic who, after losing his job and his marriage, takes his two passive-aggressive teenagers, Zoe (Madeleine Martin) and Jack (Devon Graye), on a road trip to a historical reenactment conference in rural Oregon. The story of The Discoverers unfolds against the backdrop of Lewis' research project, which revolves around the Lewis and Clark expedition of the early 19th century. Lewis is consumed by his work, desperate to prove to the academic community and to himself that he is a serious historian. He is so absorbed in his project that he neglects his family, who are left to cope with their own problems. Zoe is struggling with her sexuality, while Jack is hiding a drug addiction from his father. From the moment they set off on their trip, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary family vacation. They are forced to deal with a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, including a run-in with a nudist camp and a car accident that sets them back several days. Along the way, they meet a cast of eccentric characters, including a reenactor couple (Cara Buono and Scott Adsit) who harbor secrets of their own. Despite the setbacks, Lewis is determined to make it to the conference and deliver his paper. As they travel deeper into the wilderness, the family begins to come to terms with their past and to forge a new understanding of each other. Along the way, they discover that history is not just confined to textbooks but is also alive and present in their lives. The Discoverers is a poignant meditation on family, identity, and the search for meaning. The movie is marked by crisp dialogue, exceptional acting, and a keen eye for detail. The film is anchored by standout performances by Dunne, Martin, and Graye, who deliver nuanced performances that capture the complexity of their characters. Schwarz's direction is both assured and intimate, imbuing the film with a sense of honesty and authenticity. The Discoverers is also a visually striking film, with the vast Oregon landscapes serving as a stunning backdrop to the characters' journey. The cinematography by Chris Blauvelt is rich and evocative, capturing the beauty and majesty of the American wilderness. Overall, The Discoverers is a must-see film for anyone looking for a smart, emotionally resonant, and entertaining family drama. It is a movie that speaks to the power of history to shape our lives and the importance of family in navigating life's challenges.