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Monster's Ball 2001

After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed...

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Imdb rating: 7.1

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I took off work early, yesterday, smoked a j and watched Monster's Ball. Later that night I went with my wife to see Elf. Why can't I rate more than one movie at one time?
Among the most powerfully acted and emotionally raw films of recent years, Marc Forster's Monster's Ball is a sad study of two lonely, flawed, depressed characters who manage to overcome their own prejudices and form a connection, if only for a fleeting moment in their lives. Billy Bob Thornton stars as a white prison guard who escorts death-row inmates to the electric chair. He is a man of no love, beaten down by the realities of the world and by his relentlessly racist and aggressive father (Peter Boyle). Thornton's father abused him, he now seems to be passing on that legacy to his own son. A parallel storyline follows Halle Berry as a black woman whose husband is now on death-row (and who will be escorted by Thornton to his demise) and who is left to raise her son by herself, something she seems ill-prepared to do, judging by the extent to which she verbally abuses her child. Two tragedies and coincidences bring these two lonely characters together, and in their desperation, they make love in a scene of raw power and extreme intensity. Monster's Ball is not a story of an interracial affair...and mercifully, it doesn't make the mistake of placing the point-of-view entirely with the white man who must overcome his prejudices. Instead, it is a study of these particularly flawed characters and the specific challenges (external and internal) that they must overcome to continue their friendship. In its spirit, Monster's Ball is a beautiful love story...but their are occasionally flaws in the film's execution. While Thornton and Berry are very good, I never felt much of a connection with either of the characters. The film moves at a leisurely pace and does not really find thematic unity at its conclusion. Despite these drawbacks, Monster's Ball is a moving, powerful account of love leading to redemption, and while certainly not for all tastes, it is potentially quite rewarding.

(BASIC)
Though I'm hesitant to bestow a :rotten:, I can't really recommend this. I didn't find Berry's performance all that good, nor did anyone else stand out. This lies with the screenplay, I'm certain-- the film is filled with death and tragedy, but frankly, none of it is particularly tragic, because I didn't know/give a damn about/like any of the characters.

Thornton is serviceable here, but he has been much better. Admittedly, I'm not a Halle Berry fan, but nothing about her performance here was Oscar-worthy. Nomination, maybe. Win? No. I don't know who I would have picked to win (the only other nominee I can even remember offhand is Sissy Spacek, and I haven't seen In the Bedroom). Heath Ledger's character was underused, and he should have been focused upon more in the beginning of the film.

There were some good elements, but I can't really recommend it. Sorry, all you fans.
Monster's Ball (2001)


Monster's ball is not as great as I expected. There was no great plot and I found the sex scenes unnecessarily detailed - no wonder Angela Basset turned down the role. Hally Berry's acting was however unusual. She wasn't her usual person we're used to seeing. I guess that (ability to assume a different character) earned the Oscar.
It is time to cut to the chase. All the buzz about this movie is the sex scene that occurs right smack dab in the middle of the film. It is a long and uncomfortable scene - but according to the director, Marc Forster, there was not enough! Thank goodness for our rating system, or the audience would have had to endure another awkward minute of Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton) and Leticia Musgrove (Halle Berry) making mad, passionate love in the middle of Leticia's living room.



Monster's Ball Thornton plays a corrections officer following in the occupational footsteps of his virulent racist father, Buck (Peter Boyle), and his son, Sonny (Heath Ledger) follows in his. Hank and his son work on death row and are scheduled to execute cop killer Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs). After the execution, Hank and Sonny have a series of very intense blowouts that later cause Sonny to take drastic action against his father. While Hank is recovering from the repercussions of his son's actions, he meets Leticia. He stops to help her, after her son, Tyrell, is hit by a car. Hank and Leticia's grief for their similar losses culminates in their act of wild sexual passion. But is this carnal knowledge necessary for the story?

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My emotions during this movie changed continuously. I was disgusted, sad, mad, excited, happy, and then at the end I was a little confused. I love that in a movie. It made me think and feel all sorts of emotions for every character.

I don't normally recommend and try to stay away from "R" rated movies, but this was an exception.
Monster's Ball (2002) - Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry star in a movie about the son of a racist, who eventually drives his own son to kill himself. Shocked by the death of his son, the father quietly turns himself around. He leaves his job as a correction's official and ends up falling for the wife of a black man he helped to electrocute.

The movie is difficult to watch from a morale standpoint, until after the grandson commits suicide and the father starts to wake up. The slow transformation of the father while the grandfather continues to spit invectives is hypnotic. It's a powerful story and the acting was good enough to take me along for the ride. Great flick.

I looked up the director, Marc Forster, and saw he was pretty busy this year with two projects, Finding Neverland (about the creator of Peter Pan) and Stay, which sounds just like Lathe of Heaven. I'll be avoiding his other film "Everything Put Together." He's too damn good in directing stories about human disasters with happy endings to risk watching a film about a human disaster with a terrible ending.
although the acting are good, the story line doesnt quite much make sense and the pacing is slower than it meant to be.
A cross-star love affair between a former racist and a wife of a executed inmate. They must both come to terms with lost love ones. They begin to examine what roles they played in those people's lives which brings them closer. Two people incapable of showing love finally find love and understanding in each other.