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Witness (1985)
'Witness' is a remarkably intelligent movie!
29 November 2002
Won Oscars for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Editing. Nominated for five more Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Harrison Ford, and Best Director Peter Weir. Weir Directed the 'The Year of Living Dangerously', and 'The Truman Show'. After seeing it maybe 10 times, I find it is one of those infrequent stories that still draws my attention. This places it in the company of pictures like 'The Godfather', and some others which stand the test of repeat viewings over time. Kelly McGillis is the film's intelligent and talented secret weapon. Her performance makes me wonder where she is these days. She is an Amish widow from a rural Amish community. On a trip to the city her little boy witnesses a murder in the restroom of a train station. Police investigator Harrison Ford finds himself targeted along with the boy by corrupt cops in his unit that did the murder. He is hurt in a shootout and hides with the Amish. He wears Amish clothes, and labors with the men of the community as he rebuilds his strength. An attraction naturally develops between the McGillis and Ford charactors. The chemistry is remarkably intelligent, and authentically portrayed. Their worlds are seperated by a cultural gulf. They are drawn by each other, and respect one another. The contrasts are drawn clearly between the quaint honesty and almost dreamlike serenity of the Amish, and the horrible violence intruding upon them from the outside world. The resolution of the story should not be given away to someone who has not seen the movie. This film is a different kind of thriller in more ways than one. It's makers kept it intelligent, instead of resorting to another pyrotechnic joyride. -Robert Hartman-
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