Monday, January 14, 2013

Movie of the Week – Schindler’s List

This week’s movie: Schindler’s List (1993).

The Holocaust drama takes place in Poland during WWII. It is about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who decides he is going to risk his life to save as many members of his Jewish workforce as possible after witnessing the horrors committed on the Jewish people by the Nazis.

Director Steven Spielberg won an Oscar for his directorial work on the film, and while it was his fourth time being nominated this win (followed by his win five years later for Saving Private Ryan) announced him as Hollywood’s premier director. He was already the king of blockbusters, but now he was also at the top of grand Hollywood style prestige drama as well.

Spielberg worked with his frequent collaborators composer John Williams (whose score is beautiful, capturing the sadness and struggle) and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (though, this was Kaminski’s first time working with Spielberg – they have now made thirteen films together) on the film, both of whom won Oscars as well. He also employed Polish production designer Allan Starski, who did fantastic work (winning an Oscar too – he later worked on Roman Polanski’s The Pianist, returning to the genre).

The film has a great cast as well, headlined by tremendous performances from Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes.

All together, the film won seven Oscars including Best Picture on twelve nominations. However, what makes the film a classic and one of the best from the 1990s is its humanity, amidst one of the most tragic, heinous, and inhuman periods in history. There have since been many fantastically made films focusing on the time period, but Schindler’s List will remain maybe the most iconic. It is a must-see for fans of Spielberg and excellent period dramas.

Trailer: Here
Available on: DVD

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