Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!
The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift. (from IMDb)
What I Liked
- I have this on DVD, but it’s a film that I have always resisted watching, because I’ve always felt that I wouldn’t like it. I watched it when I was at Anna’s house and she suggested putting it on, which is exactly the right way to get me to watch something I think I wouldn’t like! I was totally surprised, but I utterly loved it!
- I’m finally coming to realise that Tom Hanks is one of my favourite actors. I feel like, despite his two Oscar wins, that he is almost underrated. I think he’s hugely talented at the same time as being massively watchable, which is a quality that I feel is very important. He’s so good as Paul Edgecomb, who is a guard with a heart, and has a team of loyal men under his command.
- David Morse plays Brutal, one of the guards on the Green Mile. I have never been a fan of his, simply because he played a character in House who I hated. But my friend Jen is a big fan, and if it’s based on this film, I can understand why! I am now completely converted on him, and I love him. His facial expressions throughout the film are so nuanced and expressive, and I think he’s great.
- I don’t really know what it was that I was expecting from The Green Mile, but thoughtful and kind prison guards was definitely not it. I loved the way that the team (with the exception of Percy Wetmore, of course) treated the prisoners as they awaited their executions.
- Obviously, the stand out performance is probably Michael Clarke Duncan’s as John Coffey. He manages to convince us that he is gentle and innocent, and not the child killing monster that his massive bulk might have us believe.
- I was pleased to see Gary Sinise pop up, as I had no idea he was going to be in it. I like to think that he and Tom Hanks are friends, just because they’ve been in a number of films together.
What I Didn’t Like
- There wasn’t a whole lot I didn’t like about The Green Mile, but the length of the film was definitely one of them. At 188 minutes, it’s far too long, especially when you factor in that the revelation that John Coffey has supernatural healing powers comes at over halfway in. As it was released 17 years ago, I haven’t managed to remain completely spoiler-free, and I already knew about this supernatural element, so it didn’t matter to me quite so much, as I was waiting for the revelation to some degree. But if you were watching it for the first time and you didn’t know, you wouldn’t have any idea, as there was no hint of. It’s a bit jarring to the narrative to learn it so far into the film.
- The bit where Wetmore stamps on Mr Jingles is horrible, even if he is brought back to life.
- Equally, the execution of Del is horrific, even though you don’t see anything. Just the thought of it is enough to turn my stomach!
I adored The Green Mile, and I’m annoyed that I waited so many years to read it! I’m going to try and read the book now.