A convicted murderer on Death Row and the nun who befriends him. Through the portrayal of finely drawn characters and their interactions as the days, hours, and minutes tick down to the condemned man's execution, powerful emotions are unleashed. While Matthew Poncelet and Sister Prejean desperately try to gain a stay of execution from the governor or the courts, scenes are intercut from the brutal crime, gradually revealing the truth about the events that transpired. In addition to her temporal help, the nun also tries to reach out spiritually and assist as a guide to salvation.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
When Sister Helen and Mr. Delacroix are first speaking in his living room, a crew member wanders into the background outside the window and then quickly runs out. See more »
[at Matthew Poncelet's appeals hearing]
The death penalty. It's nothin' new; it's been with us for centuries. We've buried people alive; lopped off their heads with an axe; burned them alive at a public square... gruesome spectacles. In this century, we kept searchin' for more and more *humane* ways... of killin' people that we didn't like. We've shot 'em with firing squads; suffocated 'em, in the gas chamber. But now... Now we have developed a device that is the most humane of all. Lethal ...
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In the heart-shaped symbol at the end of the credits, the initials EMLA, JHR, MGR, and SS stand for Tim Robbins' family with Susan Sarandon (SS) -- Jack Henry Robbins and Miles Guthrie Robbins (their two sons together) and Eva Maria Livia Amurri (Sarandon's daughter with Franco Amurri). See more »
There are few films where both the performances and directing are as powerful as they are in this film. Sean Penn is nothing less than awesome in a film that is as unflinching, intelligent, and thoughtful about the death penalty as any film could be. Writer/director Tim Robbins shows a depth beyond any reasonable expectation, Susan Sarandon is wonderful as the strong moral center of the film, and Sean Penn's performance is one of the most specific, thought provoking and eerily realistic performances ever put on film. In short, his performance is a masterpiece, as is this important film.
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