The Inspection | Review | Toronto International Film Festival 2022


The Inspection is the first fictional feature film from writer and director Elegance Bratton. Semi-autobiographical in its approach, Bratton allows for his vulnerabilities to be on full display in this 95-minute wonder.

Jeremy Pope leads as Ellis French, a young gay Black man who has decided to join the Marines as a diversion from the turmoil surrounding him at home. His mother, Inez French (Gabrielle Union), is overtly homophobic and their tumultuous relationship, established early in the film, becomes the driving factor for Ellis' persistence when the Marines exhibit that same behaviour. 

Bratton focuses on the details, which feel like a reflection on the memories he collected during his time in the Marines. The removal of hair, becoming as uniform as one another, routines that feel exhausting, all of these become reflections of the life he thought he was leaving behind. Finding solace in unexpected places and pain in others, Bratton captures the journey of acceptance, both of the self and in a way that enables catharsis for previous aches.

The acceptance does not begin and end with Ellis, each character is going on a journey alongside him, and Bratton does well to give an inner life to those around Ellis. Multiple lives exist on screen at once, but we are focusing on Ellis. It takes a strong lead to carry so much internally, and Jeremy Pope is phenomenal. Giving one of the best performances of the year, Pope embodies all that Elegance Bratton is trying to convey through his intricate script. There's a vulnerability in his eyes that gives the audience so much to connect to, and that comes from what can only be a strong force in the director's chair, leaving space for openness and honesty. 

Dedicating the film to his mother, Bratton demonstrates bravery that comes through grace. The Inspection does not look to blame or point fingers. Instead, it reconciles and aims to make sense of difficulty by finding community. There will be valid conversations had surrounding the role the Marines play in the film, becoming somewhat blameless by the end in a way that feels slightly disingenuous, but sometimes life is stranger than fiction, and that is the grace we must give.

The Inspection will be in cinemas from November 17th 2022

Post a Comment

My Instagram

Copyright © Cinematic Faves. Made with by OddThemes . Distributed by Weblyb