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The Green Mile is a masterwork. This is film as art, at it's very best. The
depth of the cast is extraordinary, with all of the players delivering
excellent performances. There is a clear sense here that all involved in
production knew that this was something special, and gave it their all. See
this film if you truly enjoy actors giving everything to their craft. Watch
for the countless subtleties of expression, and the great power that the
cast creates with silence. This is evident in the opening sequence and
remains throughout. Above all, Michael Duncan as John Coffey is
He brings gripping emotion to a unique, fascinating character.
The Green Mile should bring you joy, laughter, and if you are like most in the theater this night, tears.
"The Green Mile" is one of my favorite Stephen King books and I have read it several times. I was anxiously anticipating the film version, but was concerned that the emotional impact of the book could not be replicated on screen. Fortunately this wonderful story was adapted by Frank Darabont, who did such a magnificent job bringing King's "Shawshank Redemption" to the screen. He does the same high quality work with "The Green Mile". The story is faithful to the book, only losing details that were not important to the story anyway. The casting is superb - every actor is perfectly suited for his role and does an excellent job, although I would like to single out Doug Hutchison. His portrayal of the detestable Percy is right on the mark and suggests complexities in this character I had not discovered in the book. The length is about three hours and it seems that critics are complaining about that. I can't understand the complaints. The film never drags and is never dull, and it certainly didn't feel three hours long. The length is needed to tell this story the way it should be told, and the story is so very engrossing. Best of all, Darabont and the actors bring so much emotion ot the screen, that I cried like a baby through several scenes. "The Green Mile" will haunt you.
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.
Having seen the movie, The Green Mile, and read the novel of the same name by Stephen King, I am glad to say that the movie stays true to the book, which in itself is a great read. I read the book in one setting about a year ago, and after seeing the movie, I didn't see one scene from the book, or one plot point, left out. There were a few minor changes from the book but which in no way detract from either work. As far as performances, I can imagine many people pointing to Michael Duncan as John Coffey or Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecomb as the best performances of the movie, and they are good, but I would hope that Michael Jeter would receive recognition for portraying Eduard Delacroix. He plays Delacroix exactly as I pictured him when I read the book. I can very well see why King himself said this is his favorite of the movies adapted from his novels. It is the only one played out as he had written it. I wouldn't compare this movie or the book to (Rita Hayworth and) The Shawshank Redemption because that would be unfair to both. They are both great, but are both different. The Green Mile isn't a movie about hope and friendship, as The Shawshank Redemption was, it is a movie about a miracle of a man, and the people he affects. But like The Shawshank Redemption, I give The Green Mile 4 out of 4 stars. Great story, great cast, great look.
THE GREEN MILE (1999) ****
Starring: Tom Hanks, David Morse, Michael Clarke Duncan, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Doug Hutchison, and Gary Sinise Written and directed by Frank Darabont. Running Time: 180 minutes. Rated R (for scenes of strong disturbing violence, language, and some sexuality)
By Blake French:
It's not everyday that a movie is able to change an audiences opinion on something. "The Green Mile" is a movie that made me think long and hard about supporting the death penalty. The film, based on a novel by Stephen King, contains such a variety of emotional events that it repels its audience away from its subject rather than glamorizing it. Only a handful of recent productions have been capable of such power. "The Green Mile" is truly one of the best films this year and is Oscar Worthy in many categories. It is a unique, three hour experience that must be seen to believe.
The story is more of a personal narrative than an actual plot. The film offers an interesting perspective of the events that take place. It is seen through the eyes of a man who is over one hundred years of age, Paul Edgecomb, who is currently living in an old folks home with his friend, Elaine. During a very emotional day for Paul, he tells Elaine of a historical year in his experiences. She listens closely to his story.
He tells of a particular year in the 1930's. The setting is a beautifully crafted prison hall. Paul explains he used to be a kind prison guard on death row in charge of overseeing the executions. In this year, several significant activities occurred in his life: he had a terribly painful urinary infection, and met a prisoner named John Coffey. This man has been sentenced to the electric chair for the rape and murder of two innocent little girls. This man isn't like anyone else Paul has seen, however. Aside from being massive in size, he is humble, mild mannered, and caring. After several miraculous events take place that may point to the thought that John Coffey might have magical powers from God, Paul begins to doubt the crimes this so called criminal has been convicted of.
Throughout the story we witness three executions that in an electric chair. These capital punishment sequences have much power and significance. The electrocutions, one in particular, contain some of the most unsettling, disturbing material in film history. The movie is anti death penalty; we see the sometimes sadistic world from the prisoner guards point of view. It will put you in their shoes--and perhaps, change your opinion on the death penalty. I certainly had to think about my stand on this issue.
I did have questions that were not really answered by the filmmakers. I wanted more on John Coffey's magical powers; the miracles aren't investigated enough to suit our pleas. I think the movie could have also stood on a firmer platform of religion. We assume that Coffey's abilities are a gift from God from the character's dialogue, but religion itself is more of a theme in the film than a message or plot point. I can perfectly see why the writers decided to leave these elements to the audiences imagination, to provoke participation. So I suppose my objections are not really flaws, just personal aspirations.
"The Green Mile" contains so many vivid performances, I will not be able to honor everyone who deserves credit in my review. Michael Jeter, Gary Sinise, Doug Hutchison, James Cromwell, Bonnie Hunt, and David Morse are all superior in strength of their characters. Each contributes Oscar worthy performances, and if the Academy leaves these individuals out at Award time, they need to recheck their databases. Michael Clarke Duncan recently received a Golden Globe nomination for his supporting role, and he deserves it. Tom Hanks is just unspeakably brilliant in the leading role. He is right behind Kevin Spacey from "American Beauty" in the best performance of 1999.
The message to "The Green Mile" is clear and understandable: justice isn't always just and the miracles can happen in the most unexpected of places. This film is one of the most penetrating dramas of the past several years. It will induce your mind to think about its subjects, and gradually build on you. "The Green Mile" is a movie that will stick with you long after the ending credits role by.
Brought to you by Warner Bros.
This movie is a real gem. It is hard to find fault with it. Hanks is
excellent in a role that clearly calls for him to suppress his natural slant
toward humor. He is Paul Edgecomb; Tom Hanks is nowhere to be found. Yet
he gives Edgecomb just the right flavor. One cannot find a single weak cast
member! Michael Jeter should have got an Oscar. Michael Clark Duncan put
just the right shading on his huge character to make him vulnerable and
Flawlessly shot on perfect period sets, the whole production binds together to bring the extraordinary story into the realm of a believable and compelling study of human injustice and charity.
--The story to the film on the outside appears astoundingly simple, though once inside the film and into the plot, there is a lot more to the eye than what appears. Death Row in the olden days might sound like a boring setting for a film, but there are many intricate webs of storyline and a number of surprises and twists along the way, many which had me gasping aloud.
--"The Green Mile" is easily one of the most dramatic films I've ever seen. It's because we care so much for these characters (even a mouse!) that the events of the film are so affecting. I cared about everyone (who's not a bastard) so much and I was enthralled to see how the film would be resolved. Mix this with a number of absolutely tear-inducing scenes (the final 15 minutes especially) and you have what is nothing less than a masterfully constructed drama.
--Death Row is the setting for this film, and death row is not a place where bunnies dance around singing happy-happy joy-joy. Darabont knows the audience is aware of this, and makes the old death row set gritty and atmospheric, dripping with dread just as it should. The execution sequences are not taken lightly either, in fact many will find them extremely hard to watch, as they are very graphic.
--Characterisations and performances are a definite good point of this film, a lot of the time the performances are what drives the story. Tom Hanks is terrific as usual, injecting a lot of emotion into the character. I especially liked the way he played his character's silent suffering with God's judgement of his life. David Morse was very underrated for his performance here, personally I thought he was extremely effective and added a little something to many scenes. Patricia Clarkson was moving, Bonnie Hunt was lovely, James Cromwell was good as always.but there's no secret that the real revelation here is within Michael Clarke Duncan's absolutely fascinating performance as John Coffey (like the drink, only not spelt the same). His child-like manners are so touching to watch, the character is so sweet, but Duncan makes him so much more memorable. He does more than just cry in the film, he transfixes you with every glance as the gentle giant John. Damn, if it weren't for Haley Joel, Duncan would easily be my favourite supporting actor performance of 1999.
--This movie just proves how much director Frank Darabont can do with such little setting. For example, how many neat camera angles and cinematography techniques can you think of for the setting of death row? Not many.but Darabont utilises his setting and pulls off some truly wonderful cinematography that catches the sometimes magical and at others truly horrific feeling of the green mile. The performances by the cast also show how much effect a great director can project on a performance, or several.
--At just over 3 hours, "The Green Mile" is a little over-long, and you get the feeling a few scenes could've been cut down to make the film run a little smoother pace-wise.
9/10 - Frank Darabont's second outing is a profoundly moving film experience.
IF YOU LIKED THIS MOVIE I RECOMMEND:
Forrest Gump (10/10) Frailty (9/10) The Hurricane (9/10) Monster's Ball (9/10) The Shawshank Redemption (10/10)
Without using all the old cliches, I would recommend this movie to anyone interested in a creative, intriguing, and life enhancing experience. Everything about this movie was delightful. I recommend seeing this movie with someone especially close to you. After the movie my Fiancée and I spent two hours talking and expanding on the films ideas and concepts. This was truly a electrifying experience. I would venture to call this movie one of the best movies of all time. Sure, there are things that I would have liked to see done differently, but that is what makes a movie more enjoyable. The discussions following this film were wonderful.
Having doubts about seeing this movie because of the length (3 hours can be death to a film).I was so surprised that I didn't look at my watch once throughout the whole movie. Tom Hanks, in my opinion, gave the performance of his career by bringing emotion and depth to his part. The only actor that bettered him was Michael Clarke Duncan. How he made this giant like character into a vulnerable pussycat was a marvel. On whole, the cast came together and gave the best performance I have seen in a movie for a long time. Not one of them let the side down by being weak. David Morse who is more known for his supporting roles was also excellent and hopefully not long till he's carrying his own movie. If you haven't seen this get it out now,forget about the running time and connections to 'The Shawshank Redemption' and enjoy it for what it is, a little miracle. 4 out of 5
The length of the movie was perfect. It kept to the story to an amazing degree. The few changes didn't hurt the feeling nor the telling. The story itself is stirring and captivating. The casting of the parts and their portrayal were right on. This is one of the best movie versions of a Steven King novel I've ever seen, and I think I've seen them all. If you're prone to tears at a film, take extra tissues, you'll need them. The theater I was in was a mass of sniffles through the end credits. If you like fantasy/drama the film cannot be missed. There are some graphic scenes that may upset some, but this is Steven King. This is a movie I plan to add to my video collection as soon as the Letter Box version hits the shelves.
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