Saturday, September 13, 2014

#551 Children of a Lesser God

I have liked every single one of the films I've seen that William Hurt starred in during the 1980s. This includes Body Heat, The Big Chill, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Broadcast News, and now Children of a Lesser God. In Children of a Lesser God he plays a speech teacher at a school for the deaf. While there, he falls in love with the school's janitor, played by the fabulous Marlee Matlin, who is also the youngest person ever to win the Best Actress Oscar. She is a former student who refused to learn how to speak after being teased about it as a child. At the beginning, you think that the movie is going to be about Hurt's character helping her to stop be so stubborn and learn to speak, but it is instead about him having to learn to respect her choice not to speak. Hurt is great as usual, but the actor who really stands out in this film is Marlee Matlin. She is great as the angry and stubborn Sara, who tries to close herself off from her emotions for fear of "shriveling up and blowing away." There is a part in this movie where she actually does speak, and it is the most heartbreaking moment of the whole film. She gets so frustrated that Hurt keeps trying to get her to speak, she screams at him instead. There is another great scene with Matlin and Piper Laurie, which is when Sara sees her mom for the first time in eight years.

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