Papillon ★★★★

Sometimes the imperfections are overwhelmed by power, you know? I didn’t love the ending sequence — not the very last bit, that was great, but the whole oddball interstitial scene. I didn’t think it added to the plot, except for that religious betrayal, but I still didn’t need the idyllic interlude. 

Doesn’t much matter. McQueen put himself on the line to make us believe, and young Hoffman was a marvel. And the whole painful drumbeat of subjugation and helplessness had so much weight I could almost physically feel it. 

I was also struck by the empathy. McQueen’s manly, Hoffman’s rich, but Robert Deman’s queer orderly is the most competent prisoner in the whole movie. 

The lepers don’t get to dream of escape.

Boofest 2023: connected to The Wicker Man by imprisonment on islands.

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