Children of A Lesser God (1986)


children-of-a-lesser-god“You can’t start a bonfire and then say night night. ” – James Leeds

Number of Times Seen – Between 3-5 times  (cable, video and 28 Jan 2015)

Brief Synopsis – A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf tries to connect with a talented former student and make her understand the importance of proper speech even for a deaf person.

My Take on it – I’ve never been the biggest fan of William Hurt. From 1985-1987 he was nominated in three consecutive Oscars for Best Actor. He won the first time for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) and then lost twice in a row for this movie and for Broadcast News (1987).

To me he doesn’t seem to be acting so convincingly in anything he has done and I don’t see much depth in his characters despite being the lead male roles of all 3 movies.

Guess there will always be things about acting that I can never claim to understand and this is one of them.

Marlee Matlin, on the other hand, does a great job in her movie acting debut which landed her a Best Actress Oscar and still (as of 2015) is the youngest woman to win that award.

It was a bold and interesting choice to have a deaf woman play the main female character (who is also deaf).  Usually Hollywood prefers to have a known actor take on the difficult job of “acting” like they have some kind of ailment instead of choosing one who has it.

Knowing that she really is deaf, makes her role (and her performance) even more powerful and I only wish that Hollywood would do this kind of thing more often (when possible).

The story is interesting, but it raised way too many questions in my mind because so many strange things occurred without any real explanation.

This is another movie which I can’t quite understand why it was nominated for Best Picture because it seems that it only was nominated because of a stellar performance, not because it was truly deserving of being that years Best Picture.

Bottom Line – Matlin is amazing here and deserved her Best actress Oscar. Hurt is mediocre as usual. Interesting story but I think it would have been better if a more sincere feeling actor played Hurt’s role.  Recommended!

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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6 thoughts on “Children of A Lesser God (1986)

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