Review: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ arrives at the Hollywood Pantages with troubling timeliness
It is a film that feels like it ought to be on a time capsule that has been left out in the sun to endure without care because it was written and directed by then-12-year-old Harper Lee, who turns 53 this week, in the early 1950s.
That it feels like it ought to be on the time capsule is precisely the appeal of the film, which is just now coming to DVD and Blu-Ray, not to mention being released on Netflix.
It’s as if the book were not even written until the 1950s, when the story of Atticus Finch, an attorney, was being developed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Mr. Lee, who went on to make a huge amount of money and become a cultural icon, in the face of a kind of social upheaval.
The story of a man and a young girl who fall in love but can’t have a life together because he’s being threatened with the death penalty for the rape of a young girl in the backwoods of the Deep South, in a place that has been left to itself for a century, is a haunting and heartbreaking one.
And yet, because the movie looks at it through the eyes of Atticus Finch — a man who is more than a little conflicted about his beliefs and the impact that has on his family — the movie is, in truth, so much bigger and deeper than what it says on the surface.
At times, the movie is even startlingly funny, and even a little bit horrifying.
A scene late in the movie in which Atticus Finch — a man who is more than a little conflicted about his beliefs and the impact that has on his family — has to face up to the reality of the world he has come to love and understands is moving, and the movie even has an ending that is uplifting but tragic at the same time.
And yet… But still.
The film was written and directed by then-12-year-old Harper Lee, who went on to make a huge amount of money and become a cultural icon, in the face of a kind of social upheaval.
“To Kill a Mocking Bird,” which is available to own on