23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully Made, Well Acted, Sensitively Written - A Classic,
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This review is from: School Ties (DVD)
This movie is definitely made "the way they used to make 'em," as some would say - and most reviewers do not mention that Dick Wolf, of "Law and Order" fame, is the creator of the story, which concerns a Jewish high school boy getting the golden opportunity to excel in sports and academics at an elite boarding school. It's superbly made - the music by Maurice Jarre, one of the great film composers - is just one of the stand outs of this terrific film. The acting is genuine, heart felt, and strong. I wish Brendan Fraser had made more films like this, playing a real man, not the action hero kinds of things he did later. He really excels here - and so does Matt Damon, in a terrific, complex turn, echoing his later role in "The Talented Mr. Ripley," as a self-described "mediocrity," riding the coattails of his much more talented father and brother. Amy Locane, radiant here, is another superb actress we have not seen enough of in roles like this one. Unlike so many contemporary movies, which never seem to end, and have no sense of pace or story, "School Ties" has no fat at all: it's beautiful directed and photographed, beautifully scored, wonderfully acted and written. And its message, though sometimes overstated, is still applicable today: prejudice, in whatever form it takes, destroys lives and damages and diminishes all of us. This theme, together with other themes in the picture of religious faith, loyalty to friends and family, the meaning of hard work, marks this as a very unusual picture for its time, right at the cusp of the greedy '90's, and there probably hasn't been as good a picture on this subject since. This is a minor classic, without a doubt. One of those films you return to time and again, like an old friend, for the reassurance of decency and trying to do good in an often cold and harsh world. The closing moments of this picture are among my favorites in any film I've ever seen. This deserves a re-release, with a 15th anniversary approaching, and some great extras and interviews. It's a very fine picture!