The Definitive Movies of 1995

20. Dead Man Walking

Directed by: Tim Robbins

Susan Sarandon earned herself an Oscar for her work in “Dead Man Walking,” a film directed by her then husband, Tim Robbins. She plays Sister Prejean, a nun who befriends a death row inmate named Matthew (Oscar nominated Sean Penn) as they confide in one another and build a convincing relationship as the days and hours tick down until his execution. Robbins intercuts the scenes with Sarandon and Penn with moments of the actual crime taking place, creating a storytelling rift that both supports and contradicts moments within the film, creating two very carefully drawn and developed characters. In addition to visiting him regularly, Prejean begins the crusade to find him a lawyer to make an appeal, doing all she can to delay his sentence being carried out. But, as she meets the families of the victims, she finds herself torn between right
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