The film philosophical approach at redemption. The protagonist Manual Jordan has gotten parole from a life sentence for the murder of Abner Easley, and returns to the city he lived in to ...
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The film philosophical approach at redemption. The protagonist Manual Jordan has gotten parole from a life sentence for the murder of Abner Easley, and returns to the city he lived in to try to seek redemption. He ends up living and working at a community house run by a preacher, Miles Evans. The film is equipped with beautiful voice-overs about the meaning of life and different philosophies for getting redeemed. Manual also becomes friends with Adele Easley, his victims sister, in an attempt to make up for what he did. While working at the home he has interactions with Sofia Mellinger, the druggie daughter of a famous singer, struggling with the lack of adult guidance in her life. Written by
While some have commented that Morgan Freeman's voice changes dramatically throughout the film, it is a major plot point that he is living a lie, living under an assumed identity and not particularly good at it.
It is related to the theme of doing good, even though you may not be particularly good at it, nor be able to continue doing it for very long. It sounds unnatural for Morgan because it is unnatural for his character. See more »
This first time director, Ed Solomon, makes an incredible change over from writing films for the masses, by writing and directing this introspective and moody look into the troubled souls of the fallen. I just caught up to it on cable. At any rate, it was well worth watching. This is an Indie that makes a statement without punching us in the head with it.
Manuel, the lifer that is released at the beginning of the film, ends up looking for a connection with the family of the convenient store clerk he shot and killed during his wild youth. Now, Manuel is older and wiser and knows that he has been spared from the mean streets. It doesn't seem logical for him to do so, but in a way, is his way to express his sorrow at the horror he caused by being reckless.
The encounter with Adele, and her acceptance of this odd man is a bit hard to understand. This woman reacts with caution at first, but realizes Manuel is harmless; thus begins the friendship between them, without a hint of the actual identity of Manuel.
The thing that didn't make sense is the presence of Sofia, a child of privilege in the seedy club that is near the soup kitchen that Miles, another mysterious character runs. Once we overcome those hurdles, it is easy to see where the director is taking us.
Billy Bob Thornton plays Manuel as a man on auto pilot. The world he encounters when he is released is a world so different from what he knew. Mr. Thornton gives another phenomenal performance. Holly Hunter makes an understated Adele. She approaches the character with an economy that is amazing, yet we know at all times what this woman is feeling.
Although Sofia, the young woman appears to be confused and out of place, Kirsten Dunst is quite effective as she plays her. The only one that does not convince us is Miles, perhaps because of Morgan Freeman's approach to this man. Dorian Harewood has a small, but intense moment in the story.
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