By Nadia Ahmad |Staff Writer|
In this legal drama, heart-throb Downey plays the role of Hank Palmer, an incredibly successful lawyer who only returns home to Indiana after receiving news that his mother has passed away.
Hank soon finds out that his bitter father, Judge Joseph, played by the great Duvall, is suspected of murder.
Hank decided to defend him.
The two most memorable and pleasing components of the film were the cinematography and music.
Though the story takes place in Indiana, the film included incredibly colorful shots of wide, green fields that were shot in several locations throughout Massachusetts.
At times, I felt like I was watching a moving painting.
This is a film that should be seen in theaters in order to truly appreciate cinematographer Janusz Kaminski’s absolutely breathtaking vision.
Aside from the cinematography, my absolute favorite part of the film was the music.
“The Judge” was scored by Academy Award nominee Thomas Newman, and the soundtrack consisted of only one song, which was all the film needed.
Bon Iver’s “Holocene” is played throughout the film in two or three different scenes which added intense feelings to the already emotional scenes.
The song was especially powerful in scenes where no words were spoken.
The cinematography and music fit together seamlessly and helped keep the film in tune.
Another component that impressed me was the consistency of the story and characters
The characters are well developed, but manage to stay true to themselves.
The movie doesn’t throw you any curveballs and stays on point.
There only seemed to be one problem with the film.
The acting was good, but not impressionable, which is disappointing in a film with such a great cast.
Duvall delivered a great performance, as always, but I feel that Downey did not seem to connect to his character as well as he could have.
Vera Farmiga, who plays the role of Hank’s love interest, is a strong actress who had the potential to deliver a hearty performance, but seemed rather boring.
However, the surprise sub characters in the cast were refreshing and exciting to see.
Leighton Meester was adorably funny, and comedian Dax Shepard played a character that was hopeless and comical.
With a running time of two hours and twenty five minutes, the film is quite lengthy, mostly because it is a drama led by dialogue and not an action-packed thriller.
This is a drama that will make you feel like you’re living in the story; you understand them and want what’s best for them.
The film was indeed a drama, but succeeded in adding just the right touch of comedy, which I believe is charming and realistic.
We all need a little humor to get us through tragic times.
I assure you that you will leave this movie feeling pleased and charmed with a new outlook on family and life.