This is an ugly movie.
It made me kinda wanna go home and take a shower and wonder how low the human spirit can go.
But it also impressed me with it's incredible performances.
Monster's Ball, the meaning of which is mentioned in the film, is the anti-thesis of the feel good movie, but it's good just the same.
I was told the other day that my "reviews" are too vague, so I'm thinking I should maybe at least give something like a plot summary from now on. Well, Monster's Ball is a drama.
…wait for it…
OK, moving on.
Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry play very different people suddenly thrust together in this dark, gritty drama. As impressed by Thornton as I was in his last film, THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE, I was doubly, if not triply impressed here. No shit, triply's really a word?
Anyway, he really is good here as a stern man of questionable instincts and rather poor parenting skills. Unlike The Man Who Wasn't There, he's not nearly as laid back and reserved here, and at times he's quite intimidating. Thornton's kind of the odd man out in Hollywood, but there's no denying he's talented.
Halle Berry blew me away.
She may be a beauty, but she's definitely not just another pretty face, and she just might become the next "Best Actress In A Lead Role" come Oscar night. She's just amazing here. I've never seen her give such a performance, and after this she's very likely to become one of the leading ladies of Hollywood.
Very, very impressive. I can't even imagine her back in another role like Storm in X-MEN…
Heath Ledger and Peter Boyle have small but significant roles, and they are both excellent. Fans of the hit TV comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond would be shocked by the words that spew out of Boyle's mouth, and I definitely applaud Ledger's decision to take this small role in a small movie like this, being that he's well on his way to becoming a decent box office draw.
Also in a small but significant role, but very impressive in it is Sean Combs. (I'm very glad he was credited as such, and not as Sean "Puffy" Combs, or especially as P. Diddy. What the hell is a P. Diddy?!?)
He's very good here in what I think is only his second acting job.
This movie was written by Milo Addica and Wil Rokkos, and directed by Marc Forster. I don't know anything about any of them, but being that this is a powerful film, I figured I should mention them.
Forster did a great job of directing and he definitely pulled excellent performances from his cast.
Monster's Ball is a very dark movie, and it's definitely not for kids. It's such an ugly depiction of life that it made me cringe at times. A lot has been said about it's graphic sex scene. Well, I didn't think it was too graphic, but it was starkly realistic and completely NOT glamorous.
Like the rest of the film, it was ugly.
And like most of the film, it was unflinchingly real.