Criminal melodrama “ Witness “ (1985) or How Harrison Ford had a rest on a farm? Each talented Australian, sooner or later, settlesin Hollywood. List of names extensive: Mel Gibson, Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, Jeffrey Rush, Baz Luhrmann. The director Peter Weir whose tape " became one of the first natives from the green continent who subdued the American audience; Witness “ (1985) it was nominated for eight awards of film academy.
I it does not matter that from eight nominations played only two, for the scenario (according to Pamela Wallace`s story) and installation. The jury of the Oscar ignored both Harrison Ford, and work of the director with the operator, did not give preference and remarkable music of Maurice Jarre. That year the victory was celebrated by Sidney Pollack`s melodrama “ From Africa “ and much less positive tapes of Weir, Spielberg (“ Flowers of the lilac fields “), Houston (“ Honour of a family of Prizzi “) and Babenko (“ The woman`s Kiss - a spider “) simply did not fit into an iridescent spirit of film academicians. Nevertheless already then it was clear that the African sketch of Pollack conceded to the competitors on all fronts.
There passed years, and numerous spectator ratings only strengthened the situation “ Witness “ whereas “ winner “ it is already interesting to nobody.
… Misfortunes never come alone. After sudden death of the husband young Rachelle to dispel gloomy thoughts, goes to visit the sister in Baltimore. However travel comes to an end, without having managed to begin: having left at the railway station to the bathroom, her juvenile son Samuel becomes the involuntary eyewitness of cruel murder. For the girl who was born and grew up in the closed community of Amishes similar turn of events only validates beliefs in the rotting civilization. But now they should be late in others city because Sam from the ordinary child turned into the important witness.
Business is worthless, the police officer, but worst of all fell a victim of murderers that in one of attackers the boy recognizes other cop - the officer McPhee from department of fight against drugs. The manager of investigation detective John Bouck understands that similar information can cost to the child life therefore addresses for council the old friend and the mentor Schaefer. Without knowing, alas, that Schaefer - the main link in this corruption scheme. Having found out that their frauds are opened, the old man orders to the bandits to eliminate the inquisitive detective and the boy.
Bouck was lucky, he survived and managed to take away the woman and her son home. The seriously wounded the police officer is forced to remain with Amishes that, in principle, to him on a hand: the community is cut off from the outside world and a civilization, there are neither phones, nor television. Restoring forces, Bouck gradually falls in love with careful and lonely Rachelle, becomes attached to the boy, but understands that Schaefer and his geeks, sooner or later, will come to their trace and will try to finish the begun crime …
“ Witness “ it is interesting at least that for someone this movie became a start in life, and to others, first of all, for a nominal star of a picture of Harrison Ford - the included attempt to replace image and to show the talent. Ford who became famous at Loukas and Spielberg it is unexpected for many chose for himself the chamber script, mix of the thriller and the melodrama, at total absence of adventures, pursuits, kaskadersky tricks and special effects. For Ford`s courage rewarded the nomination on Oscar, but we also see that the actor grew up professionally, this is not the handsome man any more - the businessman from “ Business girl “ not the regular guy from “ Star wars “ and not the superarcheologist “ Indiana Jones “. The star managed “ not to zvezdit “ and to represent on the screen of the person driven into a corner which should fight alone as with the “ selling “ colleagues, and with rejection of a community of Amishes, for which John Bouck - an evil seed of a hated civilization.
Peter Weir, to which after brilliant dramas “ Picnic at the Trailing rock “ and “ Gallipoli “ in Australia it became close, conscious went over to Hollywood to have a freedom of action and an opportunity to work with the best of the best. With itself(himself) it captured the operator John Sil, future winner of the Oscar for “ English patient “ and the nominee for “ Rain man “. Actually, operator style is learned at once because amazingly worked well for Sil both idyllic pastoral pictures of rural areas, and intense scenes of action.
At authors of the movie it turned out to find room during an hour and a half screen time for three genres at once. On the one hand, before us the inventive and fascinating thriller in which the involuntary witness, the honest police officer, " appears; werewolves in pursuits “ and a mysterious story about the gone consignment of drugs. With another, the typical melodrama about suddenly flashed passion between the strong-willed and brave man and single mother. Their relations are dangerous doubly: one cannot relax, and the girl is under fixed supervision of a community which condemns any liberties, especially, in relation to strangers.
But the main thing that Weir introduced social implication in purely genre scenario. John Bouck`s travel to Amishes is a peculiar escape from a civilization. Rescuing the body, Bouck treats at the same time and I smother, being dipped into the world where people got used to pray before meal (even in snackbar), to solve all the problems together (construction of a barn the whole world) and according to Christ`s precepts to turn other cheek instead of showing resistance. With the last it is the heaviest to Bouck to be reconciled, he got used to resolve issues by force.
Collision of the worlds in the picture “ Witness “ does not take the form of an apocalypse, the viewer is smoothly brought to thought that the closed world in which Rachelle and her son lives is not the reason, but a consequence. These people consciously do not want to go in step with progress, refusing from external “ benefits “. They got used to count only on themselves, on the relatives and the family whereas for people around Amishes - amusing “ freaks “ hermits, turncoats. However, the unwillingness something is characteristic of both parties to change in the circumstances, and lack of mutual understanding - result of mutual alienation.
Saying that the tape became “ start in life “ I mean successful start for several actors and actresses at once. With Ford everything is clear, he only strengthened the positions on the Olympus, and here Kelly Makgillis was obviously lucky the actress with the partner. Having managed to be lit few times on television, Makgillis almost at once came into the view of Weir and after “ Witness “ began to be in demand for producers. However, the peak of her career came literally in a year: Kelly played together with Tom Cruise in a superhit of 1986 “ The Best shooter “.
The bad guy, the officer McPhee, the black actor Danny Glover which we love played and we know, in fact, only by four parts “ Deadly " weapon;. Glover, by the way, that year caused a stir because it was busy also in “ Flowers of the lilac fields “ Spielberg which were also nominated for Oscar.
On it familiar faces do not come to an end. The modest friend of Rachelle, the farmer - the Amish Daniel, was represented on the screen former Soviet balerun by Alexander Godunov for which the movie became the first work in the American cinema after quarrel with Mikhail Baryshnikov and withdrawal from the ballet. To hammer together to itself the name in cinema to Godunov did not turn out, he early died and managed to act only in several films, including well-known “ Die Hard “ (terrorist Karl). And here his partner on “ To the Witness “ Viggo Mortensen (the younger brother of Daniel), despite very bit part, managed already in zero to become a full-fledged star. It is enough to remember the trilogy “ Lord of the Rings “ (Aragorn) and “ Road “.
As for the boy Loukas Haas (Samuel), he still masters an actor`s profession, and is quite successful, participating playing a supporting role in such loud projects as “ Beginning “ Nolan and “ Lincoln “ Spielberg.