Small-town Alabama, 1932. Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck) is a lawyer and a widower. He has two young children, Jem and Scout. Atticus Finch is currently defending Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Meanwhile, Jem and Scout are intrigued by their neighbours, the Radleys, and the mysterious, seldom-seen Boo Radley in particular.Written by
Generally, I prefer to review movies I dislike, because I am better able to quantify negative opinions than positive ones, but "To Kill a Mockingbird" deserves a review as few other movies I have ever seen. I probably cannot make any statement about this film that has not already been made many times, but it really is one of the most beautiful and moving films I have ever seen.
I first read Harper Lee's lovely novel when I was a young teen, and it was one of those books that gave me an experience that changed the way I perceived the world and my own family. The movie stays true to the wonderful, innocent prose.
Every time I watch, I see my father in Atticus Finch. He, too, is a southerner who respects people and defends his beliefs. He also has always respected his children and treated us the way Atticus treats Scout and Jem. I also see other family and friends in various characters in the film, because we have such strong southern roots. Even the negative aspects of racial antipathy and loss of childish innocence bring certain memories to mind.
Those who did not grow up in the south or with southern families might not see parallels the way I do, but the movie would be a gem to anyone. Gregory Peck put in the performance of his career, and the children acted in the least forced manner I have ever seen. The cinematography is also beautiful, and the script is perfectly balanced-not too sparse, but also not dialogue heavy.
The best thing about "To Kill a Mockingbird" is that it preserves the spirit of the novel that resounds with so many people. This film stands as one of the best ever arguments for tolerance, loving families, and the beauty of life through a child's eyes. Everyone who watches movies ought to see it.
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