Review: ‘Children of a Lesser God’

Children of a Lesser God is the kind of good intentioned material that often gets weighed down with sentimentality on the screen. Fortunately, the translation of Mark Medoff's Tony Award-winning [1980] play avoids many of those traps by focusing on a touching and universal love story between a deaf woman and a hearing man.

Children of a Lesser God is the kind of good intentioned material that often gets weighed down with sentimentality on the screen. Fortunately, the translation of Mark Medoff’s Tony Award-winning [1980] play avoids many of those traps by focusing on a touching and universal love story between a deaf woman and a hearing man.

At the heart of the picture is the attraction between William Hurt and Marlee Matlin. Their need and feeling for each other is so palpable that it is almost impossible not to share the experience and recognize it in one’s own life.

It’s another seamless performance for Hurt. Matlin, who makes her professional acting debut here and is in real life hearing impaired, as is much of the cast, is simply fresh and alive with fine shadings of expression.

1986: Best Actress (Marlee Matlin).

Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (William Hurt), Supp. Actress (Piper Laurie), Adapted Screenplay

Children of a Lesser God

Production

Paramount. Director Randa Haines; Producer Burt Sugarman, Patrick Palmer; Screenplay Hesper Anderson, Mark Medoff; Camera John Seale; Editor Lisa Fruchtman; Music Michael Convertino;; Art Director Gene Callahan

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

William Hurt Marlee Matlin Piper Laurie Philip Bosco Alison Gompf John F. Cleary

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