Child_of_God_posterDirector: James Franco
Writers: James Franco (screenplay),Vince Jolivette (screenplay), Cormac McCarthy (novel)
Stars: Scott Haze, James Franco, Jim Parrack, Tim Blake Nelson

Trailer: Click Here           IMDB Link: Click Here   

Please Note: The Following May Contain Spoilers (But I Tried Hard Not To)

Child of God is the story of Lester Ballard (Scott Haze), a violent and twisted man who is trying to live a normal life in a town with no family, no real home (he’s camping out in an abandoned cabin) & no true friends. The townsfolk ostracize him for his strange behaviour and treat him like a criminal. This causes him to become more and more twisted and turn to criminal acts each one worse than the last before resorting to cave dwelling and essentially being on the run from the entire town.

Written and directed by James Franco and based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, the film is a slow paced drama which does drag on at times but has a very strange an twisted storyline that keeps you hooked until the end. One big note is that some of the films elements are very disturbing and will likely upset some viewers but it is nevera-child-of-god-trailer-2 out of context with the rest of the story and is always used to show very clearly that Lester’s mental state is deteriorating rapidly and the animalistic side of himself is very much taking over.

Scott Haze does a brilliant performance taking the roll of Lester above and beyond to ensure that the character resonated off the screen.  I honestly believe it would have been a draining experience to play such a horrible character so I have a huge respect for what he has achieved. I even read somewhere that Haze, in preparation for this roll, lived in an isolated cabin for a number of months and lost a lot of weight to make the whole result much more authentic. It also helped that he was working with a great cast of people who, no matter how big or small the roll was, managed to play susman-mcmanus-14their part and play it well so you never once lost the tone or feel of the overall picture. It is always very jarring to see bad acting or character portrayal in a film (and with the amount of low budget direct to video films I watch, I’ve seen a lot of that) so it was very refreshing to watch a whole movie and enjoy every performance within it.

As I mentioned earlier, it is a slow moving film with a lot of scenes of just Lester walking through the mountainside or silently watching people or animals. At times I do think some of these scenes, while fitting for the plot and timeline of the film, were a little drawn out and would have worked equally as well being shorter and not so frequent. It did, however, child-of-god-trailer-james-francobuild a great picture of the general layout of the town and the way that Lester saw the world around him but sometimes less is more and I believe that really could have been the case here.

Child of God is a very serious and disturbing film that really conflicted my emotions about the main character. I started off feeling very sorry for him and then moved into disgust and then had a mental battle between pity disgust for the remainder of the film. I am now very keen to read the novel to see how it compares and to maybe get a little more insight to the characters and story which might be more evident in the written word. It was definitely a watching experience childofgodthat will stay with me for a long while.

Reasons to Watch: Great acting and a confronting but interesting story.

Review: 4/5

These are my views and opinions and are shared for entertainment purposes only. Happy watching :)

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