Amistad (1997)

Directed by Stephen Spielberg
Written by David H. Franzoni & Steven Zaillian, based on the book Black Mutiny by William Owens
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Djimon Hounsou, Nigel Hawthorne

My Advice: Matinee.

Trying to make me see fit to forgive him for the travesty which was The Lost World, Steve brings us this rather well done telling of mislaid American history.  What really works in this film are extremely powerful sections of storytelling done without benefit of the English language.  These include the original insurrection, the Middle Passage, and an interp of the story of Christ--all beautifully rendered.  However, once those are over with, only Hopkins' wonderous turn as John Quincy Adams giving his speech to the Supreme Court comes close to having the same power.  Even the scenes with the Africans' lawyer, played well by McConaughey, trying to find some way of communicating with his clients are good, but don't keep the same level.  Djimon Hounsou is the stand-out as the rebellion leader Cinque, who speaks the Mende language through 99% of the film and manages to convey every single emotion without the audience missing a beat.  Powerful.  Please let us see you again soon.  Unfortunately, though, favorite Morgan Freeman is underused as the abolitionist Joadson, and is simply there to be there, it seems.  Despite some unevenness it is a good show indeed, Steve.  Thanks are in order.

Buy it on DVD from Amazon!
Buy the soundtrack from Amazon!

Greetings to our visitors from the IMDB, OFCS, and Rotten Tomatoes!
Stick around and have some coffee!