Elegance Bratton masterfully shares his story in A24’s ‘The Inspection’

Elegance Bratton’s directorial debut “The Inspection” follows Ellis French (Jeremy Pope) as he joins the Marines after being disowned by his mother (Gabrielle Union) for his sexuality. Written by Bratton himself, “The Inspection” tells Bratton’s life story and joins the growing genre of autobiographical independent films. 

French, Bratton’s self-insert, expertly grabs audiences’ attention. In portraying the character’s journey throughout his life before bootcamp and during his time in the Marines, Pope plays with the character’s personality and emotions with precision, bringing a rewarding payoff to Ellis’ journey to accept his identity. Additionally, Union’s performance as Ellis French’s mother, Inez French, provides a nuanced and heartbreaking arc for audiences to see converge with Ellis’ journey.

Each line of dialogue, character success and conflict feels carefully crafted, allowing audiences to take away Bratton’s theme of self-acceptance.

Animal Collective composed the score for “The Inspection” and stands out as one of the many powerful and engaging elements of the A24 drama. The score never feels like its own separate entity from the movie, but takes on its own character and emotional arc that interconnects with the emotional journey of the protagonist. The score maintains a dynamic versatility, transitioning from eerie and hopeful sounds to beautiful and ethereal arrangements with ease. 

Cinematographer Lachlan Milne manages to visually showcase Bratton’s screenplay and themes in a unique way compared to other A24-produced feature films. One particularly memorable shot comes from a sunset accompanied by uplifting music that connects with Ellis’ character arc. Milne also manages to capture the chaotic feel of bootcamp through close-ups and quick cuts, as well as desaturation and framing of the rooms during indoor scenes.

Elegance Bratton’s feature film leaves an impact on both film and the hearts of audiences everywhere. Through exploration of his own life, Bratton successfully crafts a narrative that will prompt audiences to reflect on their own experiences and teach them to love and appreciate themselves just as they are.


4 pushups out of 5