In all of art, I dare say that its creators share a common thread: the desire to articulate meaning and to serve a higher purpose than just a singular piece of art can ever do when seen or listened to in isolation from life’s larger context. Good art does that. It sheds light on meaning, on beauty.
Recently, I made a most happy discovery. To the best of my recollection, I never read Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird in high school nor anywhere else. And so, when the Netflix disc arrived and I popped it into the Blu-ray player, I had no idea what to expect other than something brilliant since so many people, on learning of my lack, had gasped and exclaimed, “You’ve never seen To Kill a Mockingbird?@!#!!?”
What followed was a two hour and eight minute masterpiece of intensely meaningful, heart-enlarging, mind-stretching art. Not only were the cinematography, the acting, and the screenplay stunning, but Elmer Bernstein’s soundtrack masterfully did this thing of which I speak: to add to the beauty. His score captured the innocence, fear, hate, love, integrity, and loveliness that have made this motion picture among the best ever made. I commend it to you after 1) you have read the book [well, okay I admit it, I’ve still not read it], and 2) you have seen the movie.