John Cullum

Perfunctory 'The Historian' has a lot to learn

Perfunctory 'The Historian' has a lot to learn

With "The Historian," writer-director-star Miles Doleac mines, with decided veracity, his experiences as an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite passed the filmmaking final as evidenced by this overlong and under-finessed look at the politics of academia.

The movie, shot at Southern Miss, tracks the year-plus journey of Ben Rhodes (Doleac), a visiting university classics professor working under the watchful eyes of a budget-conscious dean (Glynnis O'Connor) and the humorless, bullying department chairman, Valerian Hadley (William Sadler).

For a supposedly smart guy, Rhodes makes some fairly dumb moves,...

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