Monday, January 3, 2011

Movie of the Week - The Mission

This week’s movie is The Mission (1986).

The drama is about 18th century Spanish Jesuits who form a mission in a remote part of Brazil. When the Spanish give over control of the land to the Portuguese, who are pro-slavery, the Jesuits must protect the Indian tribe and their mission. The film is directed by Roland Joffe, who also made The Killing Fields and Fat Man and Little Boy – though his last few films have been disappointing. The film has a fantastic cast and crew. It features composer Ennio Morricone, who does some of his best work on this, cinematographer Chris Menges (one of the best) and production designer Stuart Craig (who went on to design all the Harry Potter films). Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro star (and are both excellent) and Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn and Liam Neeson co-star. What makes the film great is the beautiful aesthetics and score plus the powerful performances. Joffe made the film to be more atmospheric than plot bound, much like the work of Terrence Malick. The result is a prevailing character piece. It is a must for cinema fans (it won the Cannes Golden Palm) and fans of great cinematography and Morricone. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD from and to rent at

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