“Witness” movie review

51QB1MQ7JHL

When Rachel Lapp (Kelly McGillis), a young widow, and her young son, Samuel (Lucas Haas) take a trip to Philadelphia, their lives are forever changed. After Samuel witnesses a murder scene, he must help Detective John Book (Harrison Ford) find the man.

After Book becomes wounded during a confrontation, he must stay with Rachel and Samuel’s Amish family while recovering and remain hidden to keep the boy safe. During their time together, John and Rachel fall in love.

“Witness” is a 1985 film starring Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Danny Glover and Patti LuPone. Among it’s many nominations and wins, it was nominated for eight Oscars and won two for “Best Original Screenplay” and “Best Film Editing.”

Despite it’s high praise and becoming a hit at the box office after it’s fifth week in theaters, it was not a favorite among the Amish community due inaccuracy and fear of bringing in more tourists to their location. The movie was boycotted upon its release, which caused Pennsylvania governor, Dick Thornburgh, to make an agreement to never promote Amish communities in the future.

This was Harrison Ford’s big break out of the sci-fi/fantasy genre and he was nominated for his first and only Academy Award. At the time this was a new territory for him and fans who knew him as Han Solo and/or Indiana Jones. Many people on social media have said this to be some of his best acting.

The film has some humorous moments, such as when Harrison Ford was in an Amish outfit and the first time his character milked a cow. There were more funny moments, but these are the two that stood out. It helped that Ford made hilarious facial expressions when the situation called for it.

While the movie is filled with suspense, action and romance, it shows not only what it is like to be an outsider in a community different than your own, but also when two different worlds come together. One man is an independent detective from Philadelphia who brings in and carries a gun. The other is a non-violent and VERY religious group of people who live away from the big city, do not use modern technology and work together.

As a Christian who has learned about different denominations, it was nice to see John Book’s character development. At the beginning of the movie he looks baffled and awkward the first time he sees Rachel and Samuel pray over a meal and then at the film’s climax he appears to have an understanding of the religion.

It does not take long for John and Rachel to fall for each other, however, it is forbidden because of her belief and customs. Despite their differences, they have some very cute moments. My favorite part in particular is the dancing scene, it is very sweet and shows John’s fun side. Harrison Ford can sing a bit too. Who knew?

vDy_OP

There was one moment in the film that crossed a line for me. It was a rather intimate scene between John and Rachel as he watched her through a window while he was outside and their eyes meet. As powerful as it was meant to be, it made him look like a stalker.

The acting was phenomenal and and the story had a great buildup with powerful moments. I loved seeing Patti Lupone (original “Les Misérables” London cast) in the film almost as much as I enjoyed watching a young Harrison Ford in what is known as one of his best performances.

The ending was not what I expected, and I am usually pretty good at predicting those. It was more realistic compared to most Hollywood romance films. I would highly recommend it if you are a fan of thrillers, romance or just Harrison Ford movies in general. Catch it on Netflix while you can.

Advertisements

Sunset Boulevard- Dream Cast

sunset-boulevard-adelphi-theatre-repro-folio-poster.jpg

There has been talk that a film based off the musical version of “Sunset Boulevard” is in the works. However, creator of the show, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been trying to make it happen for years, but has had complications with the movie company Paramount, since they own the rights to the original 1950’s version of the movie.

I have not seen the musical and my parents gave it negative reviews when they saw it years ago. I have heard the title song and have become very picky about the way it is sung. I have come to enjoy only two versions of the song, the voices belonging to John Barrowman and Michael Ball.

Norma

Norma is the main role of this musical. She is a former silent film star who did not continue working when sound movies were invented. During the course of the show she is trying to send her movie script to Paramount Studios.

Patti LuPone

LuPone originated the role on West End (London) and has been a fan

pattisunset1_1371739397

Patti LuPone as Nora

favorite since then. She still does concerts and is a Tony winning actress. I cannot think of anyone better to portray Norma on screen.

Glenn Close

Close was the original actress to play Norma in Los Angeles  and on Broadway (New York). She is set to revise the role in the 2016 West End revival. It is well known in the theatre community she is the top choice if the musical is made into a movie. 

1.170848

Glenn Close as Nora

This is a role Close is well-known for in the theatre community and there are some fans who would love to see her play Norma on screen. She has experience in “Sunset Boulevard,” is a big name and she can sing. She would be great.

Joe

Joe is one of few main characters in the musical. He is a script writer who works for Paramount Studios and happens to stumble among Nora one night. She has him go over her script, which he cannot save, it is so awful, but he attempts to and ends up staying with the older woman while living a life of luxury.

Joe is the one who sings the title song and as I have stated previously, I only enjoy John Barrowman and Michael Ball‘s versions of it. Both men portrayed the role in London and Barrowman has recorded the song on several of his albums.

Personally, I like singers who go outside the box when they sing “Sunset Boulevard,” which is why I prefer Barrowman and Ball compared to Hugh Jackman and even Ramin Karimloo.

Aaron Tveit

Tveit is a popular actor in the television and musical theatre industry. While he has never played the role, he could probably nail the title song. He has a great voice and is a fantastic actor.

Betty

Betty is Joe’s love interest in the musical, who is engaged to a man named Artie. She works at Paramount Studios and is a writer as well.

Kaley Ann Voorhees

There are quite a few actress I feel could play this part, but in the end my top choice would be Voorhess. She was an alternate for the role of Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway and recently co-stared with many others in “The Prince of Broadway” in Japan. She has a phenomenal voice and would be perfect for the role.