|Index||4 reviews in total|
I feel I must speak about this film with more heart than I see in some
comments. I do not believe the plot summary comment should be allowed
to go unchallenged in its short vision.
This film is beautifully written, constructed, cast and acted. The pace, photography, color, soundtrack, costumes and sets all move with depth, nuance and a continuity remarkably faithful to the pace and way of idealized Amish country life. The film presents the Amish not as characters in a melodrama, but rather spreads out the entire Fulham County Community in the complexity of a spiritual, ethical parable without preaching, or judging, or trivializing the deep human values at odds in an incident, which becomes a crime, which becomes a complex balance of "relative rights and wrongs," which the film is scrupulously careful to articulate in terse dialog, exceptional acting, and sincere beauty.
This film has become a trivia footnote in Brad Pitt's filmography, since it is one of his earliest performances. It deserves to be elevated from footnote to Exceptional Acting by a Juvenile. His performance is brief, heart-breaking, and some of the best work he has ever done. Likewise those who know Ron Perlman only as a "heavy" character actor will marvel at the finely graduated and sincere beauty of his revelation of the heart of Job. By the time the film concludes, truth and amity prevail notwithstanding tragedy, there are no shallow winners or losers, and Life itself is the summary memory. Some film buffs may perhaps muse to themselves that they have been touched like this, with this power and restraint, in only one other film: "To Kill A Mockingbird."
A small town is thrown into turmoil when four youths go on trial for a heinous crime against a neighboring Amish family. Many of the townspeople felt harassing the Amish for being different was merely harmless sport, but an idealistic young prosecutor brought charges for a hateful, intolerant act. The only witness against the criminals was a 7 year old girl whose father refused her entry into the trial on religious grounds which undermined almost all of the prosecutor's efforts at an indictment. Good film showing the stupidity of those with a superior attitude.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have mix feelings about this movie as it does tell about how the Amish are willing to use devices such as others telephones and be driven in others cars. This only touches on the exemptions they make to their religion, so I believe that the Amish need to decide to stick to the beliefs completely and not, when necessary they use modern means. Also, I find in a modern world with cars a trucks have not place on the road with the buggies they use. It's a danger to them. To this end perhaps they need to keep COMPLETELY to themselves, but wound it be a shame if we couldn't learn the great things these people have to teach. In the movie when the stones are throw by much more that prank loving youth they are throw at Amish buggies, traveling at night by victious, victious youth who in the film seem not to care that they have killed a small child. I do believe, should the Amish decide to cast away all modern things, then they need to do that and they need to keep themselves out of danger by keeping off the roads, but then on the other hand perhaps we who use bikes and run on public roads and make rules that dogs must be on leashes should be banned from the roadways as well as these thing are dangerous to all of them. When the day came that we accepted that these sort of youth should be allowed to get away with one such incident then the rest of us should hang our heads in shame. So, how about, buggies and runner/joggers, bikers and dogs be kept of the public roads to keep them and all safe.
Interesting movie and sad at the same time. It's a shame there are idiots in the world who will harass others just for fun. Portrayed here is another example of how horrible the United States is (a country I love for all that is great about it.) This movie also brings to light the foolishness of people who don't follow through with justice. Religion should not play a part in anyone saying no to holding whoever is guilty accountable. Here that was almost the case but in the end justice was served... sort of. Prosecutor Ken Olin in court versus the big shot criminal attorney seemed to be leading up to a grand court case to prove guilt. What happened was kind of a letdown that really brought the movie down for me - there was a change of plea in court and no trial. Ugh. Just like that the movie ended without full resolution, without us the audience seeing justice carried out. Oh well. All in all this wasn't too bad. Ken Olin, I think, brings something to the small screen that many other small screen actors just can't. He does a really good job in most of the roles he plays and he does a good job here, too. It was kinda neat seeing a young Brad Pitt in one of his first movie roles, though his part was rather small. This gets a grade of: C
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