The Man Without a Face
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- New making-of featurette
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McLeod becomes Chuck's tutor and his friend, although Chuck will do some teaching of his own. They both realize they have a lot to learn about each other, and their friendship develops into something stirring and honest. Things get complicated when vile rumors and intolerance threaten to separate them, though.
The script is smart, and Gibson's direction guides this film with a discerning knack for emotional lucidity and realism. Nick Stahl (as Chuck) is one of the few young actors who can do emotional expression that doesn't seem forced and stupid. This is critical, because bad casting for Chuck would seriously have ruined this movie. Gibson, of course, is great here, but what would you expect? He's a tremendously versatile actor. I do think the movie probably should have been about 10 minutes longer to flesh out the ending a bit. That's not a huge complaint...the last scene in the movie makes up for any disappointment because it is very moving and evocative in its simplicity. Ahh...truly an excellent movie.
I do wonder why Gibson chose to eliminate the homoerotic overtones in their relationship - in the novel, Chuck's yearning for a genuine father figure is inextricably entangled with his confusion regarding his sexual identity and attraction to his tutor, and these twin needs force the dramatic climax that ends their time together. Perhaps Gibson preferred to keep the plot simpler, concentrating on the themes of prejudice, the joy of teaching, and the friendship and platonic love that his protagonists learn from each other. Or perhaps he feared that his viewing audience would not be as sympathetic towards a homosexual McLeod who killed a previous pupil in a drunk driving accident. Some reviewers appear to feel that the movie did not end as well as it began, and I think this could well be chalked up to the Hollywood sanitization of the last third of Holland's book.
Still, this is a quietly splendid first film for director Gibson - a moving tribute to the transformative power of friendship and a funny, sometimes painful coming-of-age story expertly combined.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Came from another country. Doesn't play in my region. Tried to contract seller. No response. Love the movie tho.Published 2 months ago by danielkon
Video can only be viewed in another zone so u have to change your equipmentPublished 2 months ago by nona shirley
Sensitive reflection on a young man's pains of growing up without a a father's encouragement and giving character structure. A true mentoring process begins.Published 2 months ago by Richard Baxter