August 31st, 2001


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Still of Josh Hartnett, Andrew Keegan and Julia Stiles in OStill of Mekhi Phifer, Andrew Keegan and Julia Stiles in OJosh Hartnett at event of OStill of Mekhi Phifer and Tim Blake Nelson in OStill of Mekhi Phifer in OStill of Josh Hartnett and Mekhi Phifer in O

An update of Shakespeare's 'Othello' with a young cast, set in a high school and centered around basketball player Odin.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.1/10 (12,572 voted)

Critic's Score: 53/100

Director: Tim Blake Nelson

Stars: Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles, Josh Hartnett

Tough Coach Duke Goulding leaves nothing untried to lead his almost exclusively white boarding school basketball team, the Hawks, to victory after victory, but his own son Hugo feels his polyvalent technical excellence and tireless efforts -which require using stimulants- are not getting anything like the recognition he deserves, especially when coach gives the best player award to Odin James, the only black teammate, even saying he loves Odin like his own son, who in turn only calls super-rich Michael Cassio to share in the honor. So Hugo, who is liked by everyone, decides to set up the boys who stole his glory, and he knows a cocky adolescent's weak points are his pride and his girl. This Dixie Jago schemes to bring down a black Othello and his Cassio, playing into the poisonous power of jealousy, however badly this also hurts their loved ones and the whole team...

Writers: William Shakespeare, Brad Kaaya

Mekhi Phifer - Odin James
Josh Hartnett - Hugo Goulding
Andrew Keegan - Michael Cassio
Julia Stiles - Desi Brable
Rain Phoenix - Emily
Elden Henson - Roger Rodriguez
Martin Sheen - Coach Duke Goulding
John Heard - Dean Bob Brable
Anthony Johnson - Dell (as Anthony 'A. J.' Johnson)
Chris Dong - Dutchman Player
Rachel Shumate - Brandy
Marshall Gitter - Radio Announcer
Lisa Benavides - Ms. Serney
Chris Freihofer - Assistant Coach Jeffries
Ken French - Scout #1

Taglines: Nothing comes between two people's love, like one person's jealously.

Release Date: 31 August 2001

Filming Locations: Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $5,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $6,916,625 (USA) (2 September 2001) (1434 Screens)

Gross: $16,017,403 (USA) (4 November 2001)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Third modern Shakespeare adaptation with Julia Stiles. The others being 10 Things I Hate About You and Hamlet.

Continuity: In the end when Emily is confronting Hugo about telling O that Desi was cheating on him, she is pointing in O's direction with her left hand. In the next shot, she has changed hands and is pointing at Hugo.

[first lines]
Hugo: All my life I always wanted to fly. I always wanted to live like a hawk. I know you're not supposed to be jealous of anything, but... to take flight, to soar above everything and everyone, now that's living.

User Review

O soars high

Rating: 10/10

Critics have accused Tim Blake Nelson's cinematic version of Shakespeare's Othello,of 'glorifying' violence in a school setting,but i strongly disagree,and believe that this somewhat controversial film should be viewed by teenagers.It explores the origins of school violence and how teen angst can lead to tragedy.The film communicates a powerful message that no teenager is incapable of taking their jealousy to extremes,and O's superb cast of young actors effectively demonstrate how treachery and envy can lead to tragedy.Quite correctly,the film is aimed at a teenage audience,with a smorgasboard of hot young talent.Mehki Phifer,portrays Odin,the star basketball player who has everything going for him,until his 'friend' Hugo (Josh Hartnett) is overcome with his emotions and envy for Odin that he devotes his time and effort to destroying his life,which he ultimately succeeds in doing.Phifer is remarkable in his role,but Hartnett steals the show in a performance that he's never outdone.Hartnett was perfectly cast as the dark,manipulative and evil character,and its hard to pick a flaw in his performance.Julia Stiles also performs well as Desi Brable,the sweet,smart and pretty girlfriend of Odin.O is a gripping tale based on love,friendship,betrayal and deceit,issues which are effectively explored and given the importance they need in the film.It is hard-hitting and confronting,and not easily forgotten.Excessive explicit language,graphic violence and a very disturbing sex scene are most memorable.What hits hardest is how the characters treat each other,and there are scenes that are difficult to sit through,but its important that you do.O leaves you drained,but its nothing less than a masterpiece.Don't expect any sugar coating either;there isn't any.Finally,a teen film which is raw and real.