It's freezing. Literally everywhere. So let's watch something where it's the opposite. On the hottest day of the year in New York City, Sydney Lumet's 12 Angry Men are just walking into the deliberation room to pass verdict on a murder trial. All but one of the 12 believe the defendant is guilty.
12 Angry Men is one of greatest pieces of American cinema. The 96 minute film spends almost it's entirety in one room with 12 very distinctly different characters, each an older white male. Featuring an incredible performance from Henry Fonda, the film is a perfect demonstration of how a great film can be technically simple. A compelling story doesn't need special effects, a swath of scenes and locations, or action and violence. A film only needs a relatable character and a compelling story.
Shot by black and white cinematography legend Boris Kaufman, the film utilizes every corner of the room to tell its court-drama story. With such little room the camera advances storytelling with camera positioning, dramatic lighting, and sweeping movements, while Sidney Lumet masterfully blocks the characters.
But 12 Angry Men is more than a masterfully crafted film. It uses it's story to discuss prejudice, class struggle, judgement, selfishness, and human nature. And even tackling such huge themes it leaves you inspired and hopeful. So watch it and understand why it's one of Christopher Nolan's top 10 films. And if you don't like it there's plenty other movies on Netflix. [Netflix]