Set in mountainous Sevier County, Tennessee, "Child of God" is based on the third novel by acclaimed writer Cormac McCarthy, first published in 1973. It tells the strange story of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man whom the narrator describes as "a child of God much like yourself perhaps." Ballard's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order in the 1960s. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation.Written by
I had no idea what to expect with Child of God. I haven't read the book but I have heard its quite disturbing. I had my skepticism because it could have easily been a disturbing movie just for the sake of being disturbing, but I had hope that James Franco would deliver something memorable, and he has!
Lester Ballard is a despicable man. Shouting and abusing anyone in his sights. Filthy, foul mouthed, psychotic, this is a man you wouldn't want to have a conversation with, and I was expecting just to have nothing but repulsive feelings when watching him on screen! But what makes the film work, is that Franco, although not condoning this man's behaviour, allows some humanity inside a person that everyone deemed as a lost cause. There was a strange beauty in this film that hid under all the ugliness.
The acting from Scott Haze is nothing short of amazing. Psychotic one second, to a crying mess the next. You have a whirlwind of emotions when dealing with this very dramatic character.
Be warned, the themes in this film are very extreme and will upset a lot of people, but I thought it had a purpose.
If you don't mind watching films that aren't afraid to show you the ugly side of life together with a strange sense of beauty, then Child of God comes recommended!
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