The mark of a good movie, to me, is when you're still thinking about it several days later. You're still turning it over in your mind, sympathizing with the characters, and asking how the story might have gone differently had some characters made different choices. A movie that recently did that for me was A Place in the Sun with Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, and Shelley Winters as members of a love triangle. Raymond Burr deserves honorable mention as the hard-nosed District Attorney who is out for blood. Of course Burr went on to fame playing a fictional attorney of note.
I saw a preview of A Place in the Sun and thought it would be a good movie for Valentine's Day. If you've seen it, then it's laughable just how far off base I was with that assumption. It's considered one of the top 100 American films of all time and deserves it. I'm still trying to process it and wondering what, if any, moral might be extracted from the story. That may depend on whether you view the film through a conservative or liberal lens. Whether the producers, or author of the novel on which the film is based intended either, I do not know. And because such agendas are not explicit, it makes the movie all the better.
A conservative might consider the moral of the story to be one of the following:
- You reap what you sow.
- Do the right thing, let the chips fall, and trust God with the outcomes.
- Woe to those who want to get rich.
- As a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).
- Man up and face the music.
- One sin begets another, and then another, and then another...
A liberal might consider the moral of the story to be one of the following:
- Yet another argument for mandatory public education.
- An argument for why women's clinics offering safe and legal abortion should have been around long before they came to be.
- If wealth had been distributed more equitably, people wouldn't be driven to such desperation.
- An argument that the death penalty should be outlawed.
If you haven't seen the film, are you curious yet? Any movie that can make me think that much and consider a variety of angles is worth watching. Go watch it and let me know what you think.