I could just stop typing and collapse, but instead of just sharing that gifset (spoiler alert - then he just grabs her and they dance) and going 'watch it' let me gush about it bit more.
There is so much that is objectively crap that I adore because it has him in it - he looks insanely hot in Six Days, Seven Nights but that film is ridiculous - however, so much fun - Witness is both a huge fangirl service and a good movie.
Ford is so well suited for the role which allows him to play the tough guy we know and love but also someone who is genuinely good and kind, someone we really care about and root for. It starts as an action film with him being a cop and then takes this twist which forces him to play the role so subtly and to such wonderful effects. He has such a good chemistry with all the actors, making John so tender and loving towards the boy and especially his mother, played by Kelly McGillis who does wonderful job portraying just how smitten her character is with him. There were times she looked like she was about to collapse. I related to that strongly.
Here is some trivia:
- Although he once again plays a heroic man with a gun, Witness was the first starring role that broke Harrison Ford away from the science fiction and fantasy genres that made him famous and gave him his first and only Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
- The film's script has become a frequent model for budding screenwriters, often used to display clear structure in a screenplay.
- Sylvester Stallone was an early choice for the role of John Book. When he turned down the role, he said it was one of the worst decisions of his career.
- Harrison Ford joined the Philadelphia Police Department in preparation for the movie. He even joined them on a number of raids.
- Viggo Mortensen's feature film debut. He was offered the part in the film on the same day that he was offered to play a role in "Henry V" in Shakespeare in the Park in New York.
Things like this happen:
- he does carpentry stuff
- he fixes a car
- he protects a child
- he drinks lemonade and it just pours all over him
- he again refuses to button up his damn shirt
- he is running around with a shotgun
- while a woman is taking care of him and he has a fever he just takes her hand ever so gentely
- he is milking cows
- he builds a toy for a child
- he is punching jerks
- more unbuttoned shirt action
and then there is this shit:
I wish I was more coherent but that was such a lovely film and clearly the visual side has rendered me close to speechless.
Also, I have not seen Hurt's winning performance in Kiss of a Spider Woman, which won with Ford's work here, but really this is a beautiful performance right here. He really becomes his character which is so remarkable, considering how we always associate him with his iconic roles and it's so difficult and rare for a star like that to just become someone else on the screen.
I mean when I'm gonna see DiCaprio on Saturday I'm sure I won't think "Oh my God, poor Hugh Glass!". No, instead I'll think "Oh my god, Leo has finally suffered enough to get that Oscar". Here I was thinking of Ford as Book which is such a rare thing for me to do when I watch an actor I've seen in so many other performances.
And let's just think of that for a moment - Eddie Redmayne is a two time nominee and one time Oscar winner. Harrison Ford, someone who was in this, Blade Runner, Presumed Innocent and The Fugitive (which I saw over the weekend and found his performance to be far and above the usual performances given in an action movie) and Indiana Jones (so Depp can be nominated for Sparrow but Ford cannot be for Indy?) has 1 nomination. Which is older than I am.
On second thought let's not think about that horrendous stuff and just look at those nice pictures.