Witness

WitnessBBBB.5

(out of 5)

Absorbing crime thriller that includes undercurrents of romance and cultural exploration. A young Amish boy (Lukas Haas) accidentally witnesses the murder of a cop while waiting in a train station with his mother (Kelly McGillis) for a connection to Baltimore. The police officer (Harrison Ford, in his most charismatic performance) who investigates the crime ends up having to move to their community in order to protect the boy, integrating himself among their people and trying very hard not to fall in love with McGillis. Director Peter Weir’s depiction of the Amish is never folksy or quaint, and the realistic attitude towards their life (which includes some incredibly rude, disrespectful tourists) only enriches the murder mystery story, which is already quite riveting. Look for Viggo Mortensen making his film debut as one of the Amish.

Paramount Pictures, Edward S. Feldman Production

USA, 1985

Directed by Peter Weir

Story by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, Earl W. Wallace, Screenplay by William Kelley, Earl W. Wallace

Cinematography by John Seale

Academy Awards
Best Film Editing (Thom Noble)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly For the Screen) (Screenplay by Earl W. Wallace, William Kelley; Story by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, Earl W. Wallace)

Nominations
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Harrison Ford as “John Book”)
Best Art Direction (art direction: Stan Jolley; set decoration: John Anderson)
Best Cinematography (John Seale)
Best Directing (Peter Weir)
Best Music (Original Score) (Maurice Jarre)
Best Picture (Edward S. Feldman, producer)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Harrison Ford)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Kelly McGillis)
Best Director (Peter Weir)
Best Screenplay (William Kelley)
Best Original Score-Motion Picture (Maurice Jarre)

National Board Of Review Award
Top Ten Films

Writers Guild Award
Best Original Screenplay

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Peter Weir)

British Academy Award
Best Score

Nominations
Best Film
Best Actor (Harrison Ford)
Best Actress (Kelly McGillis)
Best Screenplay – Original
Best Cinematography
Best Editing

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