Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A simple man. A difficult choice.
Karl Childers is a mentally disabled man who has been in the custody of the state mental hospital since the age of 12 for killing his mother and her lover. Although thoroughly institutionalized, Karl is deemed fit to be released into the outside world.
I've been having a hard time writing a review for this movie, so here are the highlights from my notes.
It really is amazingly written, and all the characters feel real in the depth and complexity of their personality and in the sense that none of them are obviously tied to any sort of ulterior plot motives. Somehow you can see reflections or contrasts of the protagonist in almost every character around him.
There's something about the minimalist cinematography (most shots are flat with few cuts) which lends to the realism of the story while also naturally highlighting the more artistic shots which function as turning points.
Billy Bob Thornton did an incredible job transforming himself for his role. I couldn't even "see" him for the first few scenes.
Written, Directed, and Staring Billy Bob Thornton is so well done I cannot count how many times i've seen it.
A film that i'm sure most people don't find as funny as I do.
One with such a tragic story but a character you instantly sympathize for.
A story of a friendship so powerful that I fall in love with this film over and over again.
The performance of Billy Bob Thornton is so great as Carl he manages to look different in simply changing the way he holds his mouth.
The film is nothing short of a masterpiece to me.
If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it be your next watch.
"They turned me loose from the nervous hospital. Said I was well." ~ Karl
This was the launching point of actor Billy Bob Thornton's career as a writer-director, his first feature film. It won him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, in addition to a nomination for Best Actor. He plays Karl Childers, a mentally challenged inmate at a state psychiatric hospital, who gets released into the "real" world, perhaps a bit too soon.
As an adolescent, Karl murdered his mother and her lover with a "sling blade" used for weed cutting. As an adult, he has an aptitude for fixing small engines and has learned to read the Bible and a handful of other books, such as "A Christmas…
This in my opinion is the least talked about, greatest films I've ever seen. The performance BBT gives in this has to be the best I've seen. The story, the acting, and the characters, I loved everything about this film!
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Slight downgrade—there's just no getting around the fact that it's really pretty squishy and sentimental at its core, like a version of Old Yeller in which Old Yeller shoots himself to save Travis. (At the same time, I'm incredibly susceptible to stories of self-sacrifice, so there is still that.) Thornton gives an amazing physical performance—not having seen this since it opened, I searched in vain for even a fleeting glimpse of his now-familiar "normal" face*—but Karl isn't a credible human being any more than Forrest Gump is. He's just superficially scarier. Forcefully reminded of what a strong director Thornton is, though—I wrote a Scenic Routes column that examines the opening monologue (J.T. Walsh's, not Thornton's) in detail, but his…
I don't know what to say about a film that already speaks volumes for itself. I didn't expect any of this. This is filmmaking at its absolute best.
The story of Sling Blade begins when Karl Childers, a mentally disabled murderer, is preparing for release from the state mental hospital. He's doing an interview with a girl who's writing an article on his story for the school paper.
When Karl opened his mouth that first time, immediately chills ran all up and down my spine. There is something about his voice, something in his voice, rather, that gives you this feeling. And I can't really tell you what kind of feeling it is, because I don't even know what to…
Sling Blade's Letterboxd's tagline may say, "A simple man. A difficult choice," but it really isn't that difficult of a choice. Doyle (Dwight Yoakam) is undoubtedly one of the most detestable domestic villains ever committed to the screen, and from the instant he's introduced it's obvious that he is going to die. I don't even consider that a spoiler. It's a shame his insanely contrived character arc stymies an otherwise potentially profound statement on mental illness, acceptance and sense of belonging as Doyle could have, and in my opinion, should have been cut from the film entirely. His mere existence let alone focus screams Oscar bait with a conflict so transparently fabricated that it dominates the film in place of…
Kind of made for the Oscars, but otherwise great 'American small town with no shit to do' atmosphere with great performances and interesting plot. Some of the scenes about Karl were really something.
"Two fellers was peein' off a bridge. One said the water's cold. Other the the water's deep.... I think one of 'em was from Arkansas mhmm." -- Karl
One of the funniest moments of the film is when Karl (having previously heard someone tell this joke at the garage) tries to tell it to Linda. He obviously misses the entire point.
Dwight Yoakum plays one of the most evil villains that I've ever seen on the screen. He is a complete coward who bullies his way over everyone with a combination of braggadocio and insults. I think his performance is outstanding, second only to Billy Bob Thornton's affected but highly effective performance as the mentally challenged Karl.
I reckon some films gon' and just be that way... mmmhmm.
Writing & directing (amazing job, Billy Bob), casting, performance, storytelling, themes, pacing, character development, visuals, soundtrack... everything from top to bottom on this film is great. I went in blind, too. Loved it.
Simple and charming, but also complex, dark and haunting. BBT kept it simple - with long takes and standstill camerawork. I loved the simplicity of the dialogue. In a time where every line of every script tries to be edgy, it's refreshing to hear people talk like people. Kudos to John Ritter and Dwight Yoakam for being way more talented than I ever gave them credit for.
While cleaning out my closet. VHS.
Actors -- A
Direction -- B
Writing -- B
Music -- B
A masterpiece of drama as well as comedy.
Billy Bob Thornton the actor is great here, and he persuasively inhabits a unique character.
Billy Bob Thornton the writer/director doesn't fare as well, and the film vacillates between well-done moments (see: moments of bubbling domestic tension around the midway point) and a lot of sophomoric ones (see: that damned 90s synthesizer score).
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
There are some voracious film watchers on Letterboxd with diverse tastes so I thought it would be interesting to see…