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Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Taylor Simpson, Gabrielle Witcher, Heath Ledger
  • Directors: Marc Forster
  • Writers: Milo Addica, Will Rokos
  • Producers: Eric Kopeloff, Lee Daniels, Mark Urman, Michael Burns, Michael Paseornek
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Feb. 18 2003
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B000089Q7G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,116 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Encensé par les critiques, auréolé d’un oscar pour son interprète féminine et porté à bout de bras par son acteur principal, Le Bal du monstre (Monster’s Ball) fait partie de ces films qui surprennent par leur âpreté.

Le réalisateur Marc Foster nous plonge avec cette histoire dans un océan de douleur. Dans l’atmosphère moite du sud des États-Unis, Leticia (Halle Berry) tombe amoureuse d’un homme, rencontré alors qu’elle emmenait d’urgence son fils obèse à l’hôpital, qui s’avère le responsable de l’exécution de son mari. Cet homme, Hank, c’est Billy Bob Thornton, l’un des acteurs les plus surprenants du moment. Thornton joue tout en retenue, un style dans lequel il excelle, comme il l'avait déjà prouvé dans The Man Who Wasn’t There, des frères Cohen. Il est la pierre angulaire de ce drame où ambiance poisseuse, paralysie des sentiments et racisme quotidien sont portés par la mise en images acerbe de Marc Foster.

Grâce à une réalisation nerveuse, un sens de l’ellipse tout à fait opportun et une direction photo pleinement maîtrisée, le premier long-métrage de Foster est une œuvre assez aboutie, malgré une fin abrupte et un jeu parfois hystérique de Berry, qui détonne avec l’ensemble. Monster’s Ball reste tout de même un film dur, haché, dépeignant sans maquillage le quotidien tout en paradoxes de personnages battus par la vie. --Helen Faradji --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars 568 reviews
144 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives of desperation converge on the raw edge Jan. 5 2002
By Mr. Joe - Published on
Billy Bob Thornton already has a fine movie to his credit for the 2001 film season, THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE. He stars in MONSTER'S BALL, a film that may possibly vie with IN THE BEDROOM for multiple Oscars.
Here, Thornton plays Hank Grotowski, a senior corrections officer at a prison ostensibly placed in Georgia. Hank supervises a team of officers, which includes his son Sonny (Heath Ledger), and which is assigned to carry out the electric chair execution of a black convict. (Incidentally, a "monster's ball" is defined as the party thrown for a prison guard before he attends at his first execution.) Living with Hank at home is his aging, physically debilitated and venomously racist father, Buck (Peter Boyle), formerly a prison guard also.
The wife of the man to be executed is Leticia, played by Halle Berry. She's gamely trying to pay the rent and keep the car running by working as a waitress, and is raising an overweight son whom she sharply disciplines in an attempt to get him to stop eating everything in sight. (Leticia is convinced that fat, black men don't have a chance in America.)
Both Hank and Leticia are leading separate lives of quiet - and sometimes not so quiet - desperation, each being psychologically and emotionally dragged under by circumstances and taxing personal relationships. Then, in a series of traumatic events over a short period of time, each is cut free of burdens and left, through serendipitous accident, with only each other.
MONSTER'S BALL contains several volatile scenes of emotions on the rawest of edges, and which will keep the viewer riveted. Thornton and Berry both give exemplary performances as two people in unlikely company coming to grip with personal demons. As fair warning to the sensitive, the film incorporates episodes of intense sexuality.
Thornton has become one of my favorite actors, and this is the first time I've seen Berry in any role. I liked this movie very much, and would be hard pressed to choose between it and IN THE BEDROOM for this year's Best Picture Academy Award.
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tight and Intelligent Script with Strong Performances June 23 2002
By Ibochild - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
When I first heard the basic plot of MONSTER'S BALL, I was very intrigued, but skeptical. Watching the movie, I dreaded throughout that the filmmaker's were going to play things out in an obvious and predictable way. How refreshing it was to discover that they didn't.
Instead, I saw a tight, economical script with an amazing performance by Halle Berry. Undoubtedly, people will nit-pick about Berry's work in the film, but beat by beat, her Leticia was one of the most physically and emotionally challenging roles of the year. For the most part, she was up to the task and clearly demonstrated that she's a serious actress. One can debate whether or not she deserved an Oscar for her work, but she definitely gave an Oscar calibre performance.
Billy Bob Thornton was also deserving of an Academy Award nomination (although he didn't receive one) for his complex role as Hank. He played it honestly and fearlessly.
Also of note was Mos Def's performance in the film. It was finely shaded and understated. He's definitely an actor to watch.
However, despite these and other fine performanes in the film (Peter Boyle is another example), what really impressed me about this film was its script. All too often, writers seem compelled to explain every detail about a character, so that the audience "gets it." Fortunately, with MONSTER'S BALL, the writers assume that the audience has some level of intelligence.
In this film, one gets more with just a look on a character's face than would be accomplished in ten pages of expositional dialog. The screenplay deservedly was nominated for both an Oscar as well as an Independent Spirit Award.
Another thing that was refreshing about this film was that it didn't shy away from its controversial subject matter. It deals with issues of class, race, sexuality and relationships with an honesty that most filmmakers shy away from today. This of course will not sit well with the easily offended or those that refuse to believe that racism still exists in America. Given the casting of Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton in the key roles, some may not accept that the characters they played could get together romantically. Like it or not, relationships like this can and do exist and will continue to do so. If you get anything out of the film, it should be that relationships in general are spontaneous, unpredictable and often defy logic.
Overall, MONSTER'S BALL is a challenging film that is often difficult to watch (and not always for the obvious reasons). If you're looking for a film that forces one to confront what we fear in ourselves, this one is it.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Was The Hooker? May 16 2002
By WILLIE A YOUNG II - Published on
Format: DVD
I have no quibbles whatsoever about this film, it's characters, acting, content, realism or any of the other silly little comments that everyone else is making. I'm a man, from the South so there's a little bit of Hank in me. I'm also a diagnosed manic depressive, so I understand Letitia's emotional hurt and explosive outbursts (sexual or otherwise) I'm also Black, so understanding and having sympathy for the Black characters and relating to it's racial issues was no stretch for me, I just want to know who is the Blonde Goddess playing the detached hooker in the hotel? When Hank tells her after an attempted tryst to "just keep that money" her reply of "I'm gon' to" just cracked me up! Don't make this movie more than it is people, it's a brilliant character study that reveals not only what can, but often DOES happen in real life when unusual circumstances bring people together. P. S. Halle Berry is volcanic, she deserved that Oscar.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Halle Earned Her Oscar, but This Movie Is Unsettling June 26 2002
By The Groove - Published on
Format: DVD
"Monster's Ball" is about two people who are united through circumstance and tragedy. Billy Bob Thornton plays Hank, a prison guard who has an adult son (an impressive Heath Ledger) and takes care of his boorish, redneck father. Halle Berry is Leticia, a woman whose husband (a very good Sean Combs) is on death row, can't seem to hold down a job, and vents her frustrations on her obese young son. Neither Hank nor Leticia is a very good parent, and they come from two entirely different backgrounds. But on one rainy evening, they cross paths with each other, and from there a relationship begins. However, what Leticia doesn't know is that Hank was one of the people who assisted her husband's execution. And, as with almost all interracial relationships, tension rises between them, and Hank is forced to confront his racist demons.
This is a very upsetting movie, and the material deals with some very volatile issues. But it soars on the strength of the performances. The spotlight is clearly Halle's, who rightfully earned her Oscar. An actress known for her beauty, she de-glamed herself in this gritty performance, and she pulled it off without faking a single move. But props also has to go to Billy Bob Thornton, who gives a dynamite performance as well. Following "The Man Who Wasn't There," Thornton is on a roll, and is becoming one of the finest actors in the last ten years. And let's not forget rapper Mos Def, who makes a brief, but compelling appearance as Hank's neighbor. "Monster's Ball" may be a tough movie to sit through, but it's easily one of the best films of 2001 and warrants a purchase.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Among The Ruins Jan. 2 2002
By MICHAEL ACUNA - Published on
Marc Forster's "Monster's Ball" contains a host of horrific deeds and actions in its' first 40 many in fact, I almost walked out of the theater: child abuse, attempted patricide, suicide, public execution, racial hatred to name several. I felt like yelling at the screen: ENOUGH ALREADY! But a morbid fascination with where this movie was going made me stay in my seat, mouth open...and I can honestly say that ultimately "Monster's Ball" proved to be worth my time and effort.
But,the big question here is: why show so much negativity? Does so much downbeat material make for an uplifting, or more importantly interesting movie experience? Does: "I'm so looks like up to me" apply here? Why have your main character,Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton) exhibit such self-loathing and hatred and thereby making him unpalatable as a hero? And ultimately does Hank's metamorphosis into a loving person make sense?
I don't have all the answers but I certainly do have impressions and can attest to the cumulative power of the images presented. Hanks's conversion from bigot to loving, caring human being and Leticia's (Halle Berry)lover doesn't make logical sense but we are rooting for "them" to work and so when it does we believe it. Hank and Leticia are two lost souls, at the end of their psychic ropes, whose only hope for survival is each other. And so they cling and they claw and they gravitate towards each other as only the desperate are wont to do. As Leticia says to Hank in as heartbreaking a way as possible, and after years of being tread upon and beaten down: "I need you to take care of me."
Much has been said of Halle Berry's performance and it is a wonder: frustrated, down-and-out, sexually repressed, needy, tired and worn out but always exhibiting the smallest kernel of hope. Billy Bob Thornton wakes up from his zombie-like performance in "The Man Who Wasn't There" and makes Hank a living breathing character...fantastically flawed yet seemingly capable of turning his life around.
"Monster's Ball" will be a hard watch for many people and it's flaws might be enough to turn people off but ultimately it is a profoundly even perversely powerful film...not for everyone but for the few who can appreciate the redemptive power of LOVE.

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