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Moral Movie Reviews
- Moral Simplicity and Complexity in Unstoppable and The Next Three Days
Unstoppable and The Next Three Days, which were both released in 2010, illustrate the difference between moral simplicity and complexity in the art of cinematic storytelling. I have argued in other essays that most films feature one or more characters who are the moral center of the stories being told on screen, but this is also true of novels, short stories, plays, and oral narratives. The purpose of a well-constructed story –whether it is War and Peace or a story being told by a barber as he cuts someone’s hair—is to instruct, educate, and delight readers or listeners in some way, and one or more of the characters in the story convey or reflect the author’s message through their words and actions.Read More
- Anna Scott's Moral Journey in Notting Hill
She is an American movie star, glamorous and famous. He is the proprietor of a hobbling travel book shop in a suburb of London. In 1999’s Notting Hill they have an improbable on-again, off-again romance which ends, predictably, with the boy getting the girl, although not without the requisite complications along the way. It’s the classic story of the commoner and the princess, although underlying this romantic fairy tale is a character’s moral journey that makes Notting Hill more interesting than the standard, formulaic romantic comedy.Read More
- By Terry R. Bacon
- The Moral Center in Films
High Noon (1952) is a classic tale of a hero who must face mortal danger alone. The other “good” men in the town are either unable or unwilling to stand by his side, despite the fact that he cleaned up Hadleyville and made it a decent place to live. With his sense of responsibility, determination, and courage, Will Kane represents the moral center of the story—the character who exemplifies the right values and moral attributes. Miller’s gang is the threat to the hero, the direct cause of the dramatic tension in the story, but the true moral antitheses to Kane’s noble behavior are the townspeople, who are hypocrites and cowards. Amy is a character on a moral journey, and Helen Ramirez acts as her guide. Initially unwilling to support her husband and embrace the virtues he represents, she gets a lesson in loyalty when Ramirez advises her to stand by her man, which Amy ultimately does.Read More
- By Terry R. Bacon
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