Led by a commanding, bleeding-heart performance by Jeremy Pope, Elegance Bratton’s THE INSPECTION finds young, displaced Ellis “Frenchie” French (Pope) enlisting in the Marine Corps as a gay man in 2005. In the wake of 9/11, when the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy still reigns across the U.S. armed services, Frenchie leaves behind a troubled relationship with his mother (Gabrielle Union) only to enter a testosterone-filled realm of bloodthirsty men. With an immediate target on his back, the new recruit finds little camaraderie as he navigates a minefield of toxic masculinity and a frighteningly aggressive drill sergeant. Yet as Bratton artfully relives his experiences through Frenchie, the film reveals itself to be a beautiful, visionary examination of brotherhood and defiance in the ugly face of bigotry and self-doubt. Bratton’s powerful THE INSPECTION stands proud among the few who confront masculinity with sensual vulnerability.
CAST: Jeremy Pope, Raúl Castillo, McCaul Lombardi, Aaron Dominguez
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