Wednesday, February 1, 2012

100 Movies - No. 26: Dead Poets Society

26. Dead Poets Society (1989)
Drama, 128 minutes
Directed by Peter Weir
Starring Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard

Why do I like Dead Poets Society? One of the characters dies and another loses his job. I have never been to a school like the one portrayed in the film. Something keeps me coming back and I recently upgraded when it was released on Blu-ray for the first time.

Robin Williams as John Keating holds the whole thing together with his unconventional style of teaching. The film proves that Williams is a genuine acting talent and not just a gifted comedian. Many of the scenes are moving and some of the prominent themes include friendship, parenting, romance and individuality. Peter Weir gets some good performances out of the (mainly) young cast and the situations in which they find themselves feel authentic for the most part.

My favorite scenes include the moment when Todd Anderson (Hawke) finally overcomes his excessive shyness and also Neil Perry's (Leonard) realization that he was born to act. If you strip down the subject material there's not a whole lot there, but the atmosphere of the movie draws me in and makes me feel as though I am a part of that group of boys. We have all been to school and you will smile in recognition at some of the boys' personalities and quirks.

If you like Dead Poets Society:

Another good Robin Williams performance can be seen in Good Will Hunting, also starring Matt Damon. I like Williams when he takes on serious roles. It's a tale of how a young man comes to terms with his genius, and it also includes the themes of friendship.

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