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I spend way too much time at the theaters.
I'm a slave to the Hollywood Visionaries.  God help me.

THE GREEN MILE

Directed by Frank Darabont
Screenplay by Frank Darabont and Stephen King
(based on King's novel)
Starring Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan,
David Morse, James Cromwell, Bonnie Hunt and many more
My advice: this is Oscar bound
Rating: out of

I think the folks above need to start dusting off their Oscar mantle. If this doesn't garner them a few nominations, Hollywood will have gone to Hell in a hand basket.

A little over three hours in length, this is a grand tale indeed. Frank Darabont's The Green Mile may very well be the best movie of the year. I'll be waiting at nomination time to see how many nods this one racks up.

Set back in 1938, this tale begins with an introduction to an aged Paul Edgecomb (deftly played by Dabbs Greer). Living the last of his golden years in an old folk's home tucked beautifully amid the country woods, it's the telling of his story to a fellow crony that takes us back in time.

In Louisiana's Cold Mountain Penitentiary, we find the condemned biding their time until the last walk down the lime green painted floor of "E Block" where old Sparky awaits their final breath. In this small, dank corner of soon to be ending worlds, we find Head Guard Paul Edgecomb (Hanks), Brutus Howell (David Morse), and Dean Stanton (Barry Pepper), who spend their days on the block tending to those about to die by administering to them with an amazing amount of compassion. Well, with the exception of guard Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison), a loud talking weasel who treats everyone around him so hideously I found myself hoping five minutes into the film that he would be strapped in old Sparky himself.

Along with Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter, whom I would love to see nominated for something for this delightful character), we find John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) awaiting his punishment. At seven foot tall and over three hundred pounds, Coffey has been brought to The Mile for the rape and murder of two small sisters. Found cradling the girls in his lap, covered with their blood, and crying "I tried to take it back!", his guilt was immediate and unforgiven.

As one by one the other inmates on The Green Mile take their final walks, Edgecomb becomes increasingly convinced that John Coffey is not a murderer at all. This man appears too gentle to be a killer. He's afraid of the dark, soft spoken and spiritual, and his hands seem to possess the miraculous power to heal. Once witness to this himself, Edgecomb finds that Coffey's confessional words take on a whole new meaning.

Chock full of big name appearances (Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Patricia Clarkson, William Sadler and Gary Sinise) this movie is inventive in it's telling, miraculous in it's story and fulfilling in it's ending. Hanks is golden once more and Michael Clarke Duncan's Coffey is indescribable. I wept often during his time on screen. He is a beauty to behold.

I beg of you to take that Green Mile walk. It's a long one, but so worth the watching. Without a doubt one of the best movies of the year.

 

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