The Green Mile
This movie was so good, that I’ll never ever watch it again. Before I discuss it, I’ll let you know that when the lights went up at the end, three people in the theatre turned around and looked at me to make sure I wasn’t "specially abled" or swinging from the rafters by my own belt.
Once in a great while a movie comes along that makes you sob and feel horrible about yourself without be manufactured that way. I hate when movies try to make me their bitch by saying, "you will cry now". A perfect example of this is Dying Young, a movie in which I was ROOTING FOR THE CANCER, and Steel Magnolias…my personal favorite example of a chick movie. (Both Julia Roberts movies…..hmmm)
But The Green Mile is different, because Stephen King is a genius. He makes you appreciate every single character in this movie, even though they are MURDERERS on death row. Even supposed villains like Percy have a human side, so that you hate him to death, but you also understand him and eventually have a shred of sympathy for him.
I can’t say enough about the writing, acting, directing, music, cinematography…all of these things make for a movie that (a) doesn’t seem three hours long and (b) doesn’t seem like a movie. My sister said it best, "When the going got tough, I had to stop and say, he’s just an actor, and this is just a movie". And my mother ALSO said it best, "If there was an award for most shocking murder scene, it would be in this movie, and it wouldn’t be an execution." I can’t tell you what it is, but remember I said that.
All of this ranting and raving aside, I do not think that Tom Hanks should get YET ANOTHER Oscar for this role. I love Tom, I love him to death and he’s talented and amazing, but it’s quite clear that he’s got the "sympathetic every day sort of guy" act down cold. It’s no big stretch. I mean, his character was basically his character from Apollo 13. He added some pounds and an accent…but it’s not hard to play…yourself. He’s a nice guy, he’s playing a nice guy. No Oscar needed.
Go see this movie immediately, but make sure the sun is shining, and you feel good about yourself…because God knows you won’t leave feeling that way. My father said that this movie was uplifting, but I disagree. Near the end of the movie John Coffey says, "I’m getting tired of people being ugly to each other, it’s like pieces of glass in my head, always." Well, I’m tired of it too, and it’s seventy years later. John Coffey probably isn’t feeling the pain of people being ugly to each other anymore, but we all are, and we don’t have the "assets" that John Coffey had to deal with that pain, or to stop it…we all just have to suffer with it…and that’s what this movie made me think about.
That’s because I’m weird.
© 1999 Absurd Pamphlet Press