A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.
The movie is based on critically acclaimed Broadway stage play that was very popular. The playwright Mark Medoff also wrote the screenplay for this movie. The film and source play's "Children of a Lesser God" title is derived from the twelfth chapter of Alfred Lord Tennysons "Idylls of the King" cycle of twelve narrative poems.
The screenplay is both simple and complex. Hollywood is full of love stories where there isn't really no humor and the drama feels forced. Here it all feels real. It feels like real life. The characters are well written and the conflicts the face are completely natural and believable. It's interesting that the movie starts like one of those movies about inspiring teacher , but slowly turns into wonderful melodrama. There are many scenes involving Hurt's work with the deaf children and they are good , but it's the love story that counts the most. The screenplay rightfully deserved the Oscar nominee.
The chemistry between Hurt and Matlin is brilliant. It's not strange , because they really felt in love with each other while making "COLG". They even lived together for few months after movie was finished and it's a sad thing that it didn't last. When you watch the movie you can see perhaps the most authentic romance I've ever seen in cinema.
Marlee Matlin is spectacular in here. You could say it's a kind of cheat for deaf person to play def person. It doesn't change the fact that she is wonderful . I've never thought that a sound of hand clapping other hand might be chilling (watch the movie – you will know what scene I'm talking about). Matlin is able to say so much with her hands or face . The only time she speaks it's truly heartbreaking.
William Hurt is in the shadow of Matlin , since he got the less interesting role. Still , he is great. He always was a master of subtlety and this movie is no exception. His character also changes and suffers during the movie. His also one of the best inspirational teachers in history of cinema.
Piper Laurie has not too much screen time , but beautifully makes a complex character of Sarah's mother. In hands of less skilled actress it would be a cliché character and trivial performance . Laurie gives the audience a character who isn't black or white and quite possible the one they could relate to the most.
The movie is very well directed by Randa Haines , which is surprising since it's her movie debut. Yet she never allows the movie to be too sentimental or manipulative with the viewer's emotions. The mix of humor and drama is perfect. The movie is also quite well photographed, the beauty of New Brunswick coast makes you wanna go there.
Some people are complaining that the movie is too noisy for a film about deafness , that there aren't any scenes that use silence. I don't really see a need for that. The use of sign language feels natural here. The subtitles would be distracting in my opinion. The movie does justice to deaf people portraying them as real people with ambitions , passions and desires , not like poor cripples.
This is a beautiful movie about acceptance , finding yourself and emotional growth. This is what love should be. Find out if the world of sound and world of silence can meet. I give it 9/10.
- Jun 20, 2014