Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: To Kill a Mockingbird

[For those curious, this is a regular feature over at The Film Experience. Previous entries can be found here.]

1962 was a damn solid year for film, wasn’t it? Almost makes the 35th Academy Awards basically the award equivalent of Sophie’s Choice. And To Kill a Mockingbird got its fair share of recognition, winning three out of its eight nominations. One of those wins was for Gregory Peck’s immortalizing performance of Atticus Finch and it was richly deserved (as with Horton Foote’s screenplay).

Back to the film. To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely one of the rare film adaptations that perhaps exceeds the book it’s based on. (It also contains some of the very few child performances that are actually effective. Thank you, Mary Badham and Philip Alford, for that.) And being made in a time of racial tensions, it makes the film all the more poignant.

The best shot of To Kill a Mockingbird

Now I feel that shot best sums up Atticus’ nature. Even in the face of anger boiling over in small Maycomb County, he maintains a calm demeanor. (In fact, he only loses his composure once during the whole film.) He stands his ground in doing the right thing, even if it means making enemies in the process.

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