Stand by Me

Stand by Me ★★★★★

Every single time I watch this I forget that the emotional gut punch of an ending is given to us in the very opening scene. Every time. And yet the gut punch still works because of the honesty and unbridled heart that Reiner and co bring to this.

Possibly the best film about childhood I've ever seen, it speaks to me about my youth even though mine was some twenty five odd years after the events depicted here and I have no frame of reference for the events shown - I never lied to my parents and hiked with my friends away for two days, I never saw a dead body and I was lucky enough never to have to deal with any of the family drama or bullies shown here......and yet the film feels likes it plugs into my soul and speaks directly to me. Ironically even more so now I'm Dreyfus' age rather than the kids.

Maybe its Dreyfus' wonderful narration, maybe its the link to Phoenix's own untimely death that like The Crow you're unable to separate from the film itself.......or just maybe, the entire film is lightning in a bottle, a perfect blend of character, wit, heart and with something pertinent to everyone to remind us all of as our advancing years take us further and further away from the honest joys of childhood......

All I know is its one of the very few perfect film's ever made. And as for Reiner? One perfect film just wasn't enough.......surely his streak of perfect films starting with this and going to The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery and A Few Good Men is the greatest in all of cinema......hell, I'd even take it back a further two films, especially when one of those is Spinal Tap..... That's a run the likes of Kubrick, Spielberg, Kurasawa et al can't get anywhere near. Can they? Discuss.......

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