Top positive review
An excellent historical drama that chronicles a little-known subject.
March 8, 2015
"The Mission" is an Academy Award and Golden Globe winning historical drama tackles a little-known subject: the plight of South American natives living on the border between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil in the 1750s, and the efforts of Jesuit missionaries to protect these indigenous people from being enslaved by Spanish and Portuguese colonizers. Jeremy Irons plays Father Gabriel, the idealistic leader of a Jesuit mission, and Robert DeNiro plays Rodrigo Mendoza, a Spanish slave trader who renounces his profession and becomes a Jesuit himself. The late Ray McAnally is excellent as the worldly-wise Bishop Altamirano, whose decisions would ultimately decide the fate of many South American natives for centuries to come.
Released in 1986, "The Mission" was directed by Roland Joffé ("The Killing Fields," "The Scarlet Letter") and written by Robert Bolt ("Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago"). The acting in "The Mission" is generally outstanding, although there are a few scenes where it seems just a bit stilted. Chris Menges' Academy Award-winning cinematography is breathtaking, and Enrico Morricone's Golden Globe-winning musical score is both lush and haunting.
In addition to its other awards, "The Mission" also won the prestigious Grand Prize (Palme d'Or) at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival. This is an excellent film, and one of my long-time personal favorites. Highly recommended. (4½ Stars ^ 5)