Timothy's Review of To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill A Mockingbird(1962)
The film version of Harper Lee's celebrated novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" has remained immensely popular with audiences you and old since its initial release, mostly due to its themes of racial inequality that remain relevant despite decades of progress. Some of the power it held over audiences fifty years ago has no doubt diminished with times as movie audiences have allegedly "advanced", but one of the reasons I was so drawn to the film is because of its old-fashioned sentimentality.
It takes place in a time before kids became so cynical, when brothers protected their little sisters rather than mock them, and fathers were everything in the eyes of their children. It's so refreshing to see that.
Gregory Peck was given the role of a lifetime in that of Atticus Finch, and its restorative to see a character this fundamentally good, taking on essentially the problems of society seemingly because no one else can carry the burden. An updated version of the film simply could not work basically because no modern actor could pull off Finch's sincere graciousness and unassuming demeanor.
There are a lot of other themes running through the film that students in classrooms right now are struggling with, but the film is enormously gratifying as simple viewing for pleasure. Along with Peck's extraordinary performance, the three child actors are so natural and believable in their roles that it never feels like acting. Young Mary Badham is simply tremendous as Scout. It's a wonder that she never acted much after this.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is such a renowned movie for so many reasons, but I appreciated the way it transported me back to a time that was simpler yet so much like today. It's remarkable.