April 11, 2003

Yesterday I watched the movie “Monster’s Ball” starring Halley Berry & Billy Bob Thorton. I try to stick to Westerns or “Black & Whites” - i.e. 40s/50s movies, so this was rather a shock. There was gratuitous & sudden violence (like an electrocution) and gratuitous & sudden displays of flesh. But around those craters there was a heckuva a good story. The loneliness of going to an old folk’s home was dramatized perfectly; I can think of few things more terrifying than that vision of autonomy stripped, of banality imposed. Thorton was dead-on: I’ve met a few blue collar, straight shooters like him in my life and he portrayed it pitch-perfect. The plot was about love overcoming prejudice, and I could cynically say that it was lust overcoming prejudice. Halley Berry overcoming male prejudice is sort of like a 7-footer succeeding on a high school basketball team.

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