There are no opening credits after the title has been shown, followed by the opening scene for place of film. Although it is now commonplace for films to not have opening credits, in 1999 it was somewhat rather unusually and it was considered for a trademark of director Frank Darabont. See more »
Frank Darabont returns to the directors chair with another adaptation of Stephen Kings novel. The events take place at a death row, the guards call the green mile. The story is a layered, rather character-driven fantasy tale of the events that transpire at "the mile" after the arrival of a giant man, John Coffey (Michael Duncan), convicted of the murder of two small girls. Actually this is not one single story, but several tied together seamlessly.
A character-driven movie requires a lot from the cast, and fortunately when it comes to cast, The Green Mile delivers. As the poster of the movie tells, this movie stars Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb, senior prison guard of the mile, and as always he performs very well indeed. Yet the cast around him is even more spectacular, perhaps partially due to them being relatively unknown. With a face you know, one inevitably remembers previous performances, and the new role is coloured by this. Doug Hutchison as Percy Wetmore, a mean spirited prison guard was particularly impressive, yet his character could have been given more depth. The most captivating was the performance of Michael Duncan.
It is hard to find a flaw in this movie. The camerawork is superb, cast wonderful and direction flawless. The movie's considerable length, a bit over three hours, is something that had me worried. Yet the marvellous cast and the peaceful yet firm pace of the movie held my attention progressively through the three hours right to the touching culmination. Many will find this movie to be too long, but I for one was delighted of the style, combination of simplicity of events and depth of characters and conversation.
All in all the The Green Mile is a very touching drama, with the joys and sorrows of the life pictured with great skill, if not the best movie of the year. Five out of five.
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