Dear God I love my job sometimes.
I finally did it, I finally scratched another one off the list. To Kill A Mockingbird, it's the easiest film to talk about and yet so difficult to talk about. Do I even need to say I loved it? Do I even need to say it is one of the best films I have ever seen in my entire life? Of course not. Granted I knew next to nothing about the film, aside from it's one of the best films in american cinema and the line, you probably know the line. That's it. But I never allow such expectations, because you simply can never hear such praise of a film and set that as the benchmark, you must watch it for yourself and judge if it is indeed one of the greats or not. It truly is. It took maybe 5 minutes after the opening credits to where I was ready to be taken on this reminiscent journey of a young girl whose father is a defense attorney and is tasked with defending a black man named Tom who allegedly raped a white woman. But the courtroom scene is not the focus, it doesn't even start until a bit less than an hour before the film ends. The focus is on the young girl Scout, her memories and experiences of that time in her small town, and Mary Badham could not have been better in this role. I adore Scout to the moon and back, she's funny, she's inquisitive, she's a bit of a tomboy, and if I'm being absurdly real with you she is straight up future daughter goals for me. I cannot believe we got such a good performance from such a young girl, just 9 years old and was nominated for an Oscar. Hell to the yeah! But the most integral part of her story and her world is her father, Atticus Finch and it really does show. They have a great relationship together and you can tell he's a great dad and a very respectable and stand up guy. Gregory Peck is so godforsaken good in this movie, he just nails it he absolutely nails it! People have brought up to my knowledge only recently, that is Atticus Finch truly a good person? Does he truly believe in his defendant's innocence or did he just accept the case just to add another notch to his belt if he was acquitted? Was he possibly rascist? In my eyes, no. Granted the story is told from Scout's point of view, she has an immeasurable love and respect for her dad so could the case be made that she was just trying to make her dad seem better than he really was? I haven't read the book, but dear lord is it on my list now, but the film version of Atticus does not seem that type of person. He never judges people, he flat out tells Scout not to use the ugliest and most derogatory word in history though she's by no means a bad kid, he takes the time to visit Tom's family, and is clearly affected by the case. No spoilers of course, but I got choked up not once, not twice, but three times and I don't even know why. I was so heavily engrossed in the story and these characters that by the time the trial started I seriously could not sit still, I had to just pace around my living room I got that into it. It has been a good long while since I got that involved in a film. It's not a film renowned for it's technical aspects, it's shot well and everything, but the reason the film still has that punch over 55 years later is because of the story and the performances. There's one scene and it's genuinely making me well up right now, where Scout meets this young man named Boo who is kind of a recluse and there's a lot of bad talk about him and she's been trying to see him for the whole film, and they finally see each other and....it just went right through me. Not a line was spoken, he's barely on screen for maybe 5 minutes, and he never even says a word. It's just a visual performance by Robert Duvall, and that is some of the best acting I've seen yet. It tells you everything without saying a single solitary word. This movie made me remember why I love to watch movies, why I love to write review after review, week after week, year after year. It is because of just little scenes like that. It means the world to me. And I feel like such an unbelievable idiot for not seeing this film earlier in life. I really want to give it a 9/10 guys, I really do. An 8/10 is a disservice! It's a 9/10, 4 stars, if I forced my thumb to go up anymore it would break. This is mandatory viewing. Now you don't have to take everything I say to heart, just see the movie and judge it for yourself, you may not give it a 9/10 and that is fine, but regardless just see it. I gave so much disdain and hate for It's A Wonderful Life, and people just eat that movie up and I'm fine with that. Different opinions are okay, but you still need to see the movie for yourself so you can give your own input on it. Like God dang it, I want to watch it again! Right now!
I'll be back tomorrow, it's high time we get some foreign films in this month.
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