Monster is out in Tokyo theatres now. I am a bit surprised they released this in Japan, notwithstanding the Oscar imprimatur it received, but I caught the late show and the theatre was more or less full, which I thought was neat.
I can only encourage you to watch this movie if you have not seen it yet. I just got back from watching it for the first time tonight. I feel like Charlize Theron’s awards are well-deserved after seeing her performance. I have been to the Florida panhandle a few times, and I never found it to be a particularly uplifting environment, their is ample poverty and a sullen, depressive quality to that part of America that comes to the fore in the most visceral way in the film. It is not a happy experience, but if you think film is valuable as social commentary, as an occasional reminder (however you might quibble with the flaws or the film’s version of the “truth”…the pat answer is to say “watch the documentary if you want the truth” – but I don’t think that word really applies in film, look there’s political/social commentary from the very start, before you even get past the title of the documentary you already strongly suspect the verdict rendered by its creators) of the parts of life that you try not to think about most of the time, then I hope you will watch this film.