Watch Children of a Lesser God
- 1 hr 59 min
Children of a Lesser God is a touching and powerful drama movie from 1986, directed by Randa Haines and starring William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, and Piper Laurie. The film explores the complex themes of love, communication, and acceptance through the relationship between a speech teacher and his deaf student. The story follows James Leeds, a speech teacher who takes a job at a school for the deaf in New England. There, he meets Sarah Norman, a beautiful but troubled deaf woman who has never learned to speak or use sign language. James is immediately drawn to Sarah and wants to help her find a way to communicate with the world.
However, Sarah is wary of James' intentions and resists his attempts to teach her to speak. She has grown accustomed to living in a silent world and sees no reason to change it. As James pushes her to open up and learn to communicate, Sarah becomes more and more resistant, fearing that she will lose her sense of self in the process.
Against this backdrop, James and Sarah begin to fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by their different backgrounds and communication barriers. James is a hearing man who can speak and sign, while Sarah is a deaf woman who can only communicate through gestures and facial expressions.
As their relationship deepens, James becomes more and more invested in Sarah's life, wanting to help her overcome her fears and prejudices about the hearing world. However, Sarah is still struggling to find her voice and her place in the world, and she's not sure that James can truly understand her or her experiences as a deaf person.
The film uses stunning visuals and evocative sound design to capture the unique perspective of the deaf community. It explores the themes of identity, culture, and communication through the complex relationship between James and Sarah. The movie's climactic scenes deliver a powerful emotional punch that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.
William Hurt delivers a nuanced performance as James, the well-meaning but deeply flawed speech teacher who wants to save Sarah from her own deafness. He brings a lot of empathy and sensitivity to the role, conveying James' growing frustration and sense of helplessness as he tries to help Sarah.
Marlee Matlin, who won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Sarah, is extraordinary in the role. She conveys a deep, complex range of emotions through her facial expressions and body language, making it easy to connect with her character even without spoken language.
Piper Laurie rounds out the cast as Sarah's mother, who is overprotective and resentful of her daughter's deafness. Laurie brings a lot of depth and nuance to the role, making the character's motivations and conflicts feel authentic and relatable.
Overall, Children of a Lesser God is a moving and thought-provoking film that asks important questions about communication, love, and identity. It invites the audience to empathize with the deaf community and acknowledge the unique challenges and experiences of deaf people in a hearing world.
Children of a Lesser God is a 1986 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 80.