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O (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2001)

Mekhi Phifer , Julia Stiles , Tim Blake Nelson  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles, Josh Hartnett, Andrew Keegan, Rain Phoenix
  • Directors: Tim Blake Nelson
  • Writers: Brad Kaaya, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Anthony Rhulen, Betsy Danbury, Brad Kaaya, Daniel Fried, Eric Gitter
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005U8EL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,736 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "O (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • DISC 1
  • Feature Film
  • DISC 2
  • Cast and crew interviews
  • Deleted scenes with commentary
  • Comprehensive analysis of key basketball scenes
  • The newly restored classic film "Othello"

Editorial Reviews

O is odin james, the schools premier basketball player and future NBA star. Even though he's the only African-American student at the elite palmetto grove academy, he has the admiration of all including the teams coach and the deans gorgeous daughter desi. Odin's disturbed friend Hugo (Josh Hartnett), the coach's son is deeply bitter of his father's preference of Odin on and off the court. When Hugo contrived a diabolical scheme to sow the seeds of mistrust between "O" and Desi, it sets in motion a disturbing chain of events which erupts into a firestorm of breathtaking intensity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
"O" sets the tragedy of "Othello" in a modern high school where Odin James, the only black kid in a high school full of rich white kids, has been brought to the school for his skill on the basketball court. He is about to lead his team through the playoffs, and he has recently won the love of a dean's daughter, Desi. However, the coach's angry son Hugo is also on the team. Neglected by his father and overshadowed by Odin, Hugo forms a vicious plan, resulting in a bloody and all too familiar disaster.

The filmmakers pull no punches and opt for a fairly straight adaptation, doing an admirable job of staying true to the Shakespeare's plot and characters while avoiding his language in favor of an entirely original script. Though rap music, guns, drugs, cars, and the basketball court do figure into the story, these modern trappings never overshadow the human drama. Director Tim Blake Nelson lets his camera tell the story in a refreshingly simple manner, refusing the typical gimmickry of modern cinema; and a very solid cast carries the story well. Josh Hartnett as Hugo is perhaps the most outstanding--his angsty Ivy League face, reminiscent of Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard, always captures the bitter essence of his character.

Though the film was completed in 1998, the release of "0" was repeatedly delayed due to the rash of high school shootings in the late 1990s. While it is understandable that such incidents of youth violence should make film studios cautious, this is one film which stands apart with a mature and timeless message about hate and the seeds of tragedy.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "O" is eye-opening and mind-blowing. September 10, 2001
Never having seen or read William Shakespeare's play "Othello," I was unsure what to expect from "O," a film that begins somewhat slowly, and then kicks into a higher gear as the plot thickens. This modern update of the classic play pays a great tribute to the work of Shakespeare, while also featuring some very well-wrought performances and a third act that is disturbing and affecting at the same time.
Taking place in Charleston, South Carolina, at the high-class Palmetto Grove prep school, the film begins with a basketball game as Odin James (Mekhi Phifer), brings the team to yet another victory, while the wildly jealous Hugo (Josh Hartnett) looks on from the sidelines. Odin's fame among his teammates and fellow students, not to mention his stable relationship with Desi Brable (Julia Stiles), the daughter of the school's headmaster, enrages Hugo, who keeps his cool and concocts a plan of earning Odin's fame for himself.
At this point, the actors have proved themselves very worthy of the film's many complex emotions. Phifer is also able to convince us of Odin's inner strength and sense of devotion to Desi, and Stiles mirrors these attributes in her character. The two share a warm and inviting chemistry seen little in films of a teenage nature; this is due in large part to the time the movie devotes to the developing of their relationship. This drawn-out approach may seem a bit tedious, but it serves to better the film by enhancing our connection with these two characters.
It is Josh Hartnett, however, who steals most of the show as Hugo, instilling in him a subtle sense of deception that can be quite chilling. Hartnett handles the material just as it needs to be, in a calm, laid-back fashion.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-worth the wait! August 22, 2001
By Rebecca
"O" is a film directed by Tim Blake Nelson which is based on the William Shakspeare play, "Othello". Set in a modern-day high school setting, this film is about Odin James (Mekhi Phifer - I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER), the only black kid in a high school full of white rich students. He was accepted into the school to help the basketball team with his basketball skills. He ends up winning over the dean's daughter, Desi Brable (Julia Stiles - SAVE THE LAST DANCE). Then the coach's son, Hugo Goulding (Josh Harttnet - PEARL HARBOR), becomes jealous of Odin because he used to be the star of the basketball team and get all the attention from his father until Odin showed up. Now Hugo comes up with an evil, bloody plan for revenge that will shock the school with tragedy.
This film was completed in 1998. But due to the recent high school shooting masscarre, it kept getting delayed. But it was definitely worth the wait! Beautifully filmed, gifted, talented young actors, and an original, cleavor script, this will be an excellent adaptation of the play, "Othello". (And hey, when you ask for tickets at the theaters it won't even be a very difficult name to pronounce!) It will probably be a major box-office hit, too. I definitely recommend this drama to anybody! Go see it August 31st (I know I will eventually see it in the theaters), and I know you will not regret it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O, if only other renditions could be as fine as this! September 24, 2004
Those who are familiar with the play Othello will have no trouble guessing what happens in this dark tale of jealously and desire. How it happens, though, is a completely different story, and it is interesting to see how this timeless classic plays itself out.

O is an excellent (albeit haunting) rendition of the Shakespeare play, with Mekhi Pheiffer in the title role as the stellar athlete Odin (Othello) who finds himself the only black student at an elite boarding school. Josh Hartnett is Hugo (Iago), the jealous, brooding teammate who tries to steal Odin's fire. Julia Styles is Desi (Desdemona), and the rest of the cast does an excellent job of rounding this trio out.

There were two things about this movie which are of some importance. The scarf, for one (which also appears in the play). It seems to take on a life of its own, as Odin becomes more and more outraged at the idea that Desi might be cheating on him with his teammate Mike, the passion becoming so consuming that he can't control himself. The other was the hawk, the school mascot. Hugo compares himself and Odin repeatedly to the hawk- how the hawk has to soar and be independent.

The movie does an excellent job of transposing Shakespeare's ideas to the big screen and into modern language. Take, for example, the scene in which Hugo tries to plant seeds of doubt in Odin's mind about his girlfriend's fidelity. Here, the schene takes place in a weight room, and Josh Harnett, in that kind of sexy, seductive way he has, is wonderfully sly and manipulative. In this he does a far better job than Kenneth Branaugh did in the 1995 film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty pleasure
This movie is amazing, it's a perfect plot of revenge, lies, jealousy, and murder. Hollywood is big on re inventing Shakespeare's work onto the big screen, and this time they... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Chelcee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Had to watch this for a school English paper. Lots of action and very intense story line. So good I watched it twice!
Published 1 month ago by Heather E. McBee
4.0 out of 5 stars Othello.
Mhmm because.. I felt like watching it.. We'll my girlfriend made me.. It was Ight though well this version was.
Published 1 month ago by Casey Harmason
5.0 out of 5 stars O was a great movie!
It's a great heart warming movie that I enjoyed greatly!! It's based on Othello which is a Romeo and Juliet type film but modern day.
Published 1 month ago by Tasha Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars happy
Very cool movie Julie styles is great in this movie I give her 2 thumbs up and the DVD plays fine
Published 1 month ago by brian e sabolewski
5.0 out of 5 stars Othello
A modernization of my favorite play, done so right and in such great condition, Thank you for the movie adaptation.
Published 3 months ago by Preston
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie I really Loved it I would definitely recommend
A great spin on a Shakespeare classic. Josh Hartnett was maniacal. I love this movie oh my goodness! Must see!
Published 3 months ago by Nathan Reid
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have done my research first
I bought this movie to use in my classroom as an example of Shakespeare modernizations, but there is too much gratuitous cursing, so it's basically useless. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Barb
3.0 out of 5 stars O is just OK
It is just okay. O complains that all that happened what b/c he was "played" by a white boy he considered his friend. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Travis Austin
3.0 out of 5 stars O must mean just Okay
I bought this movie because it featured Julia Stiles, the girl who played Nikki in all three Jason Bourne movies. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Toot
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