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Where does redemption reside?
on August 12, 2010
How does one make things right? Seek forgiveness? Where does redemption reside and how do you get there? How does a wounded soul reconcile guilt?
This is a slow and thoughtful character study set during a grim and dreary winter in an urban town.
This is not a Hollywood movie. It's raw with real life. It's apparent ugliness is its sheer inescapable beauty.
Morality does exist no matter how we try to hide.
Thornton, after spending over 20 years in prison for the murder of a young convenience store clerk during a robbery gone haywire in his youth, is drawn to return to his old neighborhood to visit the older sister of the young man he killed, played by Holly Hunter. She doesn't quite know who he really is since so many years have gone by.
Thornton was content to live out his remaining years behind bars but must now face his past because his sentence was suddenly commuted.
Bleak with melancholy, this type of film gets shunned by audiences and it's a shame.
Morgan Freeman plays a mysterious soup kitchen minister who has his own issues, whom Thornton comes to work for. Freeman is a natural actor and believable in any role.
The story unfolds slowly without gimmicks.
At times, Thornton happens to find himself visited by the ghostly apparition of the young man whom he killed, while he is in the process of seeking resolution and atonement.
His simple desire is to somehow make amends. He wants to be forgiven but, strangely, he is unable and unwilling to forgive himself.
Unfortunately, unresolved redemption seems to be too deep a theme for contemporary audiences who are hooked on chills and thrills and pyrotechnics.
This is an independent film, the kind that many people just don't get.
A movie for your quiet time or a rainy night. Something different and refreshing.
And no silly happy ending to mar the procedings.