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I loved this film. Cleverly done, as William Hurt's character signs or reads the deaf people's signing he says it out loud. So we can follow the conversations. Brilliant. A great "love conquers all" type story. It must have taken the hearing actors a long time to learn sign language. Well done. As I suffer from slight hearing loss it was great that the film came with subtitles. Terrific performances from the deaf actors.
I first saw this film when it was released around 1985. I found it powerful then-on a par with the 'Miracle Worker' the Anne Bancroft film about the relationship between Helen Keller-a deaf mute(as Helen's condition was termed then) and her teacher Annie Sullivan. Children of a Lesser God is also about the relationship between a teacher and a young woman who is deaf and who for reasons revealed in the film refuses to make sound or attempt to speak. Essentially it is a story about the deaf world and the hearing world and how people who live in one can misunderstand the other. Like the 'Miracle Worker' this film does not pull it's punches. It is not an attempt at political correctness nor is it banal with sentimentality. It has a story to tell and it tells it. The central characters acted by William Hurt (who had to learn Sign Language when he took on the role) and Marlee Matlin (the first deaf actor to win an Oscar) are played with a tongue in cheek humour, passion and intensity. A totally satisfying and entertaining experience.
This story stayed in my mind. I even recall that the stars William Hurt and Marlee Matlin became an item off screen as well as on. I can remember her winning the Oscar for Best Actress and William presenting it to her and her thanking him for his love! God I'm sad!!! (they split up not long after the Oscars though!).
Other reviewers have covered the plot. All I will say is that this film is funny, sad, romantic and touching and I absolutely loved it.
The original play was a superb piece of theatre that translated well to the big screen. Although wider in scope than a stage, the film is careful to remain faithful to the characters and events of the stage play. Super acting performances from all the main characters, both hearing and deaf, turned this into a worthwhile film. It also makes you think about the way hearing and deaf people can interact more successfully. Superb!
I watched this film tonight for the first time and I absolutely loved it. I loved the storyline. From start to finish I just thought it was a fantastic film and I can't wait to watch it again. I don't normally say that about films!
This is one of my all time favourite movies. It is fascinating, funny and very poignant. I really enjoy being able to see the world through someone else's life experience - in this case - someone profoundly deaf. It is a moving love-story and very funny in places. It is beautiful to watch and very thought-provoking. I love it. I showed it to my 16 year old daughter and she also was greatly impacted by its theme. Recommend it to anyone.
I first saw this film many years ago and found it truly amazing. I also really like to watch William Hurt act and also thought that the female lead was excellent. I couldn't find it for hire and decided to buy it instead. I am glad I did, as I shall certainly be watching it again.