Day 212: Sling Blade (1996)

slingI am trying to explore more and more titles from the past to watch that I have never seen that maybe had some critical acclaim. That is why I chose to watch today’s film Sling Blade which was written, directed, and stars Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa). Karl Childers is a mentally challenged individual who has spent most of his life inside of a metal institution because of the fact that he killed his mother and her lover when he was 12. When he is finally released because he was deemed well by the state, he is released into the real world where he befriends a child named Frank (Lucas Black) who lost his father. Watch as Karl tries to adjust to real world and all the challenges that it brings his way. The film also stars John Ritter (Bride Of Chucky) as Vaughn Cunningham, Robert Duvall (The Godfather) as Karl’s Dad, Dwight Yoakam (Panic Room) as Doyle Hargraves, J.T. Walsh (A Few Good Men) as Charles Bushman, Natalie Canerday (Walk The Line) as Linda Wheatley, James Hampton (The China Syndrome) as Jerry Woolridge, Brent Briscoe (The Dark Knight Rises) as Scooter, Christine Renee Ward (Tree) as Melinda, and Rick Dial (Crazy Heart) as Bill Cox.

sling_primaryThis is a very interesting film and an amazing performance from Billy Bob Thornton who subsequently won an Oscar fro Best Screenplay, but did not win the Best Actor award. It was crazy to see a young Lucas Black in the film, but he deserves a nod for doing a great job playing alongside Thornton. One of the the things I liked right off the bat from the film was when a couple of girls were going in to the hospital to interview Karl. They’re talking about how he’s a murderer and there’s J.T. Walsh talking about murdering a girl to Billy Bob Thornton tricking you into thinking that J.T. is the murderer the girls are talking about. There’s no action in the film, but there is plenty of drama and great acting. John Ritter does an amazing job playing a gay man in Arkansas who battles the fact that he isn’t socially accepted. Instead of being scared of Billy Bob Thornton’s character Karl, everyone seems to open up to him instead of Dwight Yoakam’s character who is the antagonist of the film. He’s the guy that represents everything that was wrong about Karl’s childhood and what set him off then. The ending is kind of shocking, but you understand why it happened and you kind of commend him for doing it. In a way he was saving the boy from a life of agony because it was right in his mind. I absolutely loved the film and I recommend watching it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

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