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Tim Robbins' second film as a director beautifully surmounts the obstacles of political filmmaking, presenting an incredibly balanced, gut-wrenchingly moving look at the pain on all sides of the capital punishment issue. Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking tells the true story of Prejean's (Susan Sarandon) relationship with desperate death row inmate Matthew Poncelot (Sean Penn). When the Governor schedules his execution in six days time, Prejean struggles to reach the heart of this hate-filled, frightened, difficult prisoner — much to the disgust of the aggrieved families of his victims. Instead of never taking sides, Robbins makes the brave-yet-brilliant move of taking all of them, making every character deeply sympathetic. Sarandon won an Oscar for her performance, and it's a stirring turn by this unusually intelligent actress. Penn, however, did not — he was too good for it, pacing away the last hours of his life like a caged animal. Dead Man Walking is also deeply spiritual. Regardless of your own political or religious orientation, watching it is a profoundly provocative and emotional experience.
Amazing true story of a Catholic Nun who spent her life helping convicted felons. Sr. Jean was taken in by this convict, well portrayed by Sean Penn in his best acting ever, yet she never gave up on future other real convicts in real life. Her kindness and understanding has turned many convicts around to lead productive lives after release. She is against the death penalty not only for her own Catholic beliefs, but because of the amazing number of death sentance convicts that have been released after DNA was introduced and absolutely proved that they were not involved in the crime. I would watch it first then decide to show to chikdren. It has values, but might be misunderstood or scary to kids, it is very real prison life and futile attemps to get out of prison.
This is a movie that can be viewed again and again. The movie succeeds in conveying all sides involved and how each is pulled into the world of death penalty and forgiveness. Each actor and actress Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn have a chemistry to pull this off. Powerful in its deliverance it pulls no punches about Good vs.Evil. Love vs. Hate.
Its a beautiful true story about a crazed man that goes out an commits a heinous act against a couple. This godly lady goes to talk to him and gets him to see things for what they really are. He finds forgiveness in Jesus, and apologizes to the victim's parents upon his execution. Its appealing to the emotions because no matter what people think about criminal that their dirty dogs that deserve what's coming to them. You see that God can still touch hardened criminals and God is the one that can change people and forgive them. God is the one that gives peace.
It is an emotionally moving movie about a person on death row and has a strong message about capital punishment, repentance and revenge. I bought the movie to use in a class I am teaching on forgiveness. It was very effective.