To Kill a Mockingbird. Wow. I wasn't going to post about it because, just wow. It's perfect, and I don't know if there's much more I can say about it. But I'll try.
I was surprised, to start with, at the opening credits - usually with old movies you assume they'll have those basic flash-card titles that go on forever. Not this one (I guess it's not that old, hey?) - the opening credits, showcasing what we later find out to be Jem's box of treasures from Boo, sets the nostalgic, innocent tone wonderfully and instantly pulls you in.
The story remained remarkably faithful to the book. There were a few changes, naturally, with numerous minor plots edited out. I missed Mrs Dubose's storyline in particular, but I understand why hers and others' stories were missing - what enriches the book would have bogged down the movie. As it is, we're left with a very powerful telling of the two major plots - the court case and Boo. There wasn't a lot added to the film, with the bulk of the scenes coming straight from the book, but what was added, I liked. The early introduction of Mr Cunningham, and his interaction with Scout, for example, made the later mob scene even more effective. I also appreciated the way the trial was introduced pretty quickly, and we got to see more of Atticus' perspective.
But the most outstanding thing about To Kill a Mockingbird was, of course, the cast. OK, Gregory Peck was too young to be Atticus, technically - but with his performance, it didn't really matter. He was Atticus - dignified, wise, kind, intelligent and loving. The kids were also brilliant in their roles - exactly how I pictured Jem and Scout. Robert Duvall's young apperance as Boo Radley was short but memorable, and
Tom Robinson was tragically compelling. Bob Ewell was skin-crawlingly creepy; my only small gripe (and this is probably going to sound petty) was that his teeth seemed too white and straight for someone as rough and poor as Bob.
All in all, I loved this movie. I'm just sad I waited so long to watch it! But it's OK, I know I'll be rewatching it for years to come.
Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee