Monday, September 02, 2013

Movie review: Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking on DVD at Amazon
A progressive nun tries to salvage the soul of a hate-filled death row inmate.

In Louisiana, Sister Prejean agrees to visit Matthew Poncelet, a death row inmate. Poncelet insists he's innocent of raping a young woman and killing her and her boyfriend, the crime for which he's awaiting execution. After securing him an attorney, the case is still rejected on appeal. She spends his final weeks as his spiritual advisor, and is exposed to the workings of the Death House. Meanwhile, the families of the murdered couple are angry and resentful that she'd take his part.

This is one of Mark Hughes' 50 great films never nominated for an Academy Award that I'm watching as part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days. Although I'm writing about it now, I watched it weeks ago, and the memory is a bit hazy. Even so, I recall the powerful performances by Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Although the ending may have a bit of spiritual uplift, overall this is a tough movie about fear and redemption. Definitely worth a watch.

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