director Frank Darabont
1994’s The Shawshank Redemption has gone on to become one of the most popular and beloved movies “of all time.” I put that in quotes simply because any present day list of best movies “of all time” tends to focus on movies that have come out within its generation rather than actually having any sense of perspective “of all time,” even though “all time” would actually extend back about 100 years for motion pictures.
Shawhank‘s popularity is notable. If you are interested, I recommend reading Vanity Fair’s article on the subject, “The Little-Known Story of How The Shawshank Redemption Became One of the Most Beloved Films of All Time”, in case you think I’m projecting its popularity on it.
For my money, it’s a good film. Morgan Freeman’s voice-over narration has become a point of parody 20 years out, but his voice and cadence have that lulling comforting Americana almost totally perfected. For a film shot by notable cinematographer Roger Deakins, it’s a capable but not fantastically beautiful.
For my money, Shawshank is a 7 out of 10. A good film. A solid film. A likable film. I have absolutely nothing against it. Other than it’s the #1 highest rated film on imdb (oddly enough, right up there with two other movies that I consider oddly over-rated in the American film canon, The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974), heretical as that is to say.)
This viewing we watched because my son Felix was wanting to see it, recommended as a favorite to him from a number of various people. I hadn’t seen the film myself since it first came onto home media (I don’t think I saw it in the theater at the time, nor had I seen it since.) And he liked it pretty well. As did Clara. What’s not to like? It’s kinda long Felix noted (142 minutes).
It’s a good movie, I would say, not a great one. But that’s just me.