Monster’s Ball (2001)


“I’ve always believed that a portrait captures a person far better than a photograph. It truly takes a human being to really see a human being. ” – Lawrence Musgrove

Number of Times Seen – Twice (6 Jun 2002 and 29 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A corrections officer re-examines his life following a tragedy that occurs after the execution of one of the inmates under his care.

My Take on it – This is a film that received much acclaim when it came out especially for the performance of Halle Berry.

It’s a completely over rated movie and isn’t nearly as good as many people claim.

The casting of Billy Bob Thornton opposite Berry was an interesting choice and they are both pretty good actors, but something seems off in this film about the chemistry between them which is suppose to be sizzling hot.

Both pf their characters have experienced tragedy and that is suppose to bring them closer together, but its quite hard to believe that their characters could get together like this so quickly and superficially.

The film’s pacing is extremely slow and that hurts things since it takes so long for something to actually happen that’s interesting at all and then move along from there.

I can sort of understand how Berry could get nominated for and also win an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here, but that has more to do with the intensity of her performance than of how her character acts and is presented since it’s a bit over the top.

The film has some nice supporting turns by Heath ledger and Peter Boyle, but neither of them could help make this movie more enjoyable or interesting to watch unfold since they both feel underused.

Bottom Line – Pretty overrated film that isn’t as good as many people claim. Thornton and Berry are both pretty good actors, but it’s hard to believe the chemistry between them despite the fact that both of their characters have experienced tragedy. The pacing of the film is overly slow and it takes quite a while for things to actually move along.  I can sort of understand how Berry could be nominated for and win an Oscar for her work here because she plays her character in a very intense fashion even if it’s a bit too much.  The supporting cast is great but even Ledger and Boyle are underused here.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – As part of his research for the film, director Marc Forster actually sat in an electric chair and was horrified to see the nail marks that the electrocuted prisoners had involuntarily scratched into the wood. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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