365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 181
Release Year: 1994
Best Original Score
Best Adapted Screenplay
THE PLOT THUS FAR
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“The Shawshank Redemption” begins with the trial of a young banker, Andy Dufrense, victimized by circumstantial evidence, resulting in a conviction for the murder of his wife and her lover. After a quick conviction, Andy finds himself serving a life sentence at Shawshank prison, with no hope of parole. He exists in this prison only in appearance, keeping his mind free from the drab walls around him. His ability to do this results in the gaining of respect from his fellow inmates, but most of all from Ellis Redding. Ellis, commonly referred to as Red, finds gainful use of his entrepreneurial spirit within the drab walls of Shawshank by dealing in contraband and commodities rare to the confines of prison. Andy’s demeanor and undeniable sense of hope causes Red to take a deeper look at himself, and the world around him. Andy proves to Red and the other inmates that in the conventional walls of Shawshank prison convention will find no home in his lifestyle.
By creating the film’s firm foundation, the meticulously chiseled screenplay paved the way for this film’s success. Frank Darabont outdoes himself with the phenomenal adaptation of Stephen King’s equally noteworthy novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. In this novella, King demonstrates that he can break free from the genre he dominates and still create a marvelous piece of modern literature. Though the film mirrors the novella in many ways, Darabont illustrates a focused objective of improving upon the areas where the novella came up short, resulting in one of the best book to film transitions ever.
The Blu-Ray comes with a commentary from Frank Darabont and two new documentaries. You also get promo galleries, Charlie Rose special footage and a spoof. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track plays soft at points, but it kicks up when needed. The 1080p transfer is superb, as it shows off Deakins’ Oscar nominated cinematography. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!