On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian (1928 - 2011 ) in the 1990s, when he defies Michigan law assisting the suicide of terminally-ill persons. Support comes from his sister, a lab tech, the Hemlock Society president, and a lawyer. The child of survivors of the Armenian genocide interviews applicants: his sister video tapes them. He assembles a device allowing a person to initiate a three-chemical intravenous drip. The local D.A., the governor, and the Legislature respond. In court scenes, Kevorkian is sometimes antic. He's single-minded about giving dying individuals the right to determine how their lives will end. He wants the Supreme Court to rule. He picks a fight he can't win: is it hubris or heroism?Written by
Based on Neal Nicol's and Harry Wylie's novel, "Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Assisted Suicide Machine and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia." It was published by Vision in 2006. See more »
The Faygo bottle Jack is seen opening for Janet Good is a retro-style that wasn't put out by the company until 2007. See more »
It's emotionalism. You know, when heart transplants first started... there was the same prevalent feeling, I mean, even among doctors... that it was wrong, it was contrary to God's will, contrary to nature. Isn't it ghoulish to rip a person's chest open and take out a heart? Or a bypass operation? Ether is the same thing. You have ether, been around for centuries, it wasn't used. Not till 1846. It was discovered in 1543... and before that, everybody was being operated on while they were awake. ...
[...] See more »
What a different role for Pacino! But, he was just as great and totally brilliant and believable in this quiet but driven, eccentric role as he usually is in his other roles where he furiously eats the scenery throughout.
I wasn't sure if his "Midwestern" accent was a Fargo caricature or if he was merely channeling Chief Dan George in Little Big Man, but it sure was interesting to hear an NYC Italian able to be so believable in his upper midwest accent that was located about 10 miles east of Minneapolis, or close thereabouts. Meryl Streep, move over.
The philosophy of this controversial subject is much more serious. America is so far behind the rest of the world in assisted suicide, as many countries now allow a person to die an assisted death for any reason, with no incurable illness or the like required. All it requires is a waiting period to be positive of the hard decision made. And here we are in the good old retarded USofA, still not allowing the dignified assisted death of terribly suffering and/or terminal souls who merely and quietly want nothing more disruptive than a personal, peaceful, and painless end to their agonizing day-to-day existence. (I totally agree with the rest of the world that it is as much or more an individual decision as is having an abortion and no political or religious entity should have any say in what a person makes up his mind to do in this matter. These intruding entities should not play any part at all in influencing and determining the right and wrong of it, as there is none to a rational thinker.)
All supporting roles were well done, with John Goodman bringing much needed comic relief at times to this achingly serious story. Brenda Vaccaro as the doc's conflicted sister and fellow death-with-dignity proponent Susan Sarandon were truly positive additions to the cast. Direction by the brilliant Barry Levinson was nonpariel and as good as his earlier Rain Man.
I truly hope this film moves the assisted death argument forward in America as it couldn't go any further backward, and more is the pity for that unevolved thinking.
51 of 61 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this