Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Schindler's List

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley

Year: 1993

Genre: Drama

Rated: R

Length: 195 min.

IMDB Summary: In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Perhaps no other film in history depicts the Holocaust as unforgettably and disturbingly as does Schindler's List, the title that won seven Academy Awards in 1993, including Best Picture. Powerful and immense, Schindler's List uses top-notch acting, directing, music and cinematography to reconstruct the Krakow ghetto, Plaszow concentration camp, Schindler's enamelware factory and Auschwitz. What stays with you about this black-and-white film is the imagery--children hiding in a sewer, human beings packed into train cars, Goeth shooting random men and women from the balcony of his home. The scenes in Schindler's List are chillingly realistic because Spielberg does not cut corners in portraying the actuality of the violence. There is no sugarcoating of the Holocaust and how many lives it destroyed. The camera angles capture the emotional aspect of situations, often using close-ups to portray character reactions. At times, a hand-held camera was skillfully employed to convey chaos. John Williams' stunning musical score contributes to the intensity and confusion of the film. My favorite aspect of this film is the acting of Neeson, Kingsley and Fiennes. These actors carry the film with subtle dialogue and nonverbal cues. With brilliant acting, directing, music and cinematography, Schindler's List is truly a cinematic masterpiece.

For Parents:
Violence is the primary issue--patients in hospital beds are shot, a man's dying wife is shot, women and children are shot, a woman is beaten, bodies are burned. There is a brief sex scene between Schindler and his wife with partial nudity--unessential to the plot and worth skipping over. Goeth threatens his Jewish housemaid, intending to rape her, only to beat her instead. Schindler is portrayed as a ladies' man and kisses many random women. Some strong language.

My Rating:
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