Children of a Lesser God
CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD (15)
D: Randa Haines
Paramount (Burt Sugarman & Patrick Palmer)
USA 🇺🇸 1986
W: Hesper Anderson & Mark Medoff [based on the play by Mark Medoff]
DP: John Seale
Ed: Lisa Fruchtman
Mus: Michael Convertino
PD: Gene Callahan
William Hurt (James Leeds), Marlee Matlin (Sarah Norman), Piper Laurie (Mrs. Norman), Philip Bosco (Dr. Curtis Franklin), Allison Gompt (Lydia), John F. Clearly (Johnny), Phillip Holmes (Glen), Georgia Ann Cline (Cheryl), William D. Byrd (Danny)
An old-fashioned sentimental romance story is given a unique spin when an unorthodox new teacher at a school for the hearing-impaired attempts falls in love with a young, deaf woman who works as a janitor there. He tries to encourage her to improve her communication and speech, but she stubbornly refuses, remaining silent by choice.
Marlee Matlin deservedly won an Oscar for her performance, becoming the youngest actress at the time to win an Academy Award, and William Hurt also delivers a good performance with what could have been a rather indistinctive, placid character.
Worth watching for Matlin's excellent performance alone, and though the story would generally work better as a stage play, this film adaptation is as good as it could possibly be. There is the occasional scene that feels a little contrived, but it does an exceptional job giving a platform for a young, deaf cast to shine in the spotlight.