An emotionally-charged look at an often neglected aspect of the fallout from 9/11, Worth shines light on the victims of the attacks and their families through stellar performances from the entire cast and a plot ripe with palpable poignancy.
In the aftermath of the attacks in New York City on September 11th, 2001, lawyer Kenneth Feinberg (Michael Keaton) attempts to administer the victims compensation fund while navigating politics, emotions, and distrust. Keaton leads the charge here in one of the best performances of his career in a film that expertly balances the legal aspects of the topic with the human side of the true events. His deeply tormented portrayal elevates what could have been an otherwise routine drama, along with strong supporting outings from Amy Ryan, Laura Benanti, and Stanley Tucci. Aside from the big names, those who portray family members visiting the law firm to share the stories of their lost loved ones are raw, genuine, and incredibly effective at bringing viewers right back into the horrors of the event.
Where Worth lacks, however, is in fully delivering on its message. Through Keaton’s character, we explore the tug-of-war between what is right and what is bureaucratically encouraged, with a dash of corporate greed. Though we eventually see a drive towards more right than wrong, the entire process remained flawed and challenged. Not much has changed since then and, sadly, I’m not sure that the film does a good enough job of igniting the charge.
Still, director Sara Colangelo has crafted an intense, yet respectful film that brings attention to a lot that happened “behind closed doors,” so to speak, while paying tribute to those lost.
Worth is now streaming on Netflix.
Photo from Netflix