Dead Poets Society
Release year: 1989
Director: Peter Weir
Screenwriter: Tom Schulman
Starring: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Kurtwood Smith
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Screenplay. 3 Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Robin Williams), Best Director.
John Keating (Robin Williams), the new English teacher at a traditional 1950s prepratory school, teaches his student through poetry to seize the day and think for themselves.
Dead Poets Society might look rather dull on the surface, but that is far from the truth. Much of its appeal lies in Robin Williams who gives an Oscar nominated performance, and although Mr. Keating has relatively little screen time it is very much his movie. His presence is felt throughout and his teachings have lifechanging consequences. If we had just all had a teacher like him… The plotline is perhaps not the most shockingly original, but our main cast – the Dead Poets Society member, and particularly Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard make this a memorable watch that has already found a secure place in the hearts of many. Particularly lovers of Literature will find Dead Poets Society appealing. The direction is beautiful. Weir guides us effortlessly through the story, with just the right amount of empathy, while giving us a great sense of the environment without letting setting and scenery get the upper hand. Although it has its funny moments (mostly curtesy of Mr. Williams) it is a coming of age drama with serious points to make and darker themes to explore. It is an encrossing watch which is highly recommended to anyone who does not need regular explosions in order to be entertained.
The powerful scene in which Ethan Hawke’s character cries outside in the snow was done in one take. It was originally meant to be an interior scene, but when they were about to shoot it started to snow and Peter Weir decided to move the scene outside. However, the snow was already letting up so it had to be done in one take, which Ethan Hawke managed to do excellently.
Picture Copyright: SF Film