Reel Dialogue Study Guide - The Adjustment Bureau
The Reel Dialogue team would like to provide a richer film viewing experience for you and others. This discussion guide equips anyone watching the movie with questions and support text to make for an engaging night of entertainment. Follow the simple steps provided and enjoy your movie night together.
Synopsis of film: The Adjustment Bureau is one of those movies whose genre is hard to pin down. Is it an action/suspense thriller, like The Bourne Ultimatum, which this movie’s writer and director, George Nolfi, also cowrote? Perhaps it is a political drama? But the plot revolves around a love story that is suffused with science fiction. And there are clear religious themes that invite further reflection by viewers once the movie has ended. Most cross-genre films don’t work; The Adjustment Bureau is an exception. Nolfi has given us a movie that teenagers and adults alike will enjoy—and then ponder.
If the movie were primarily a thriller, it would be driven by its plot. Set strikingly in New York City and given a superb sound track by Thomas Newman, the story follows the two lead characters—David Norris (Matt Damon) and Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), who meet unexpectedly in the men’s room(!) of a major hotel on the night of Norris’s concession speech, after he has blown a big lead in his race for the Senate. The rest of the movie has to do with the efforts of the “adjusters”—men in hats—to stop these two from meeting again so Norris can fulfil the “Chairman’s” plan that he become president of the United States. There are strong chase scenes, taxis crashing, lots of running, and doors that open up mysteriously onto other areas of the city. Terence Stamp, as Senior Adjuster Thompson, is a worthy nemesis—as always. Can the characters escape those mysterious hatted strangers with special powers? Viewers find themselves hoping against hope that they can.
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This study guide was provided through the partnership with Fuller Studios. Based on the book: God in the Movies: A Guide for Exploring Four Decades of Film.