|Dead Poets Society has hundreds of positive, enthusiastic and inspired hits all over Google. I have yet to find someone who did not like it, except those who loved it.|
According to Wikipedia:
It won the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robin Williams), Best Director and Best Picture.
The film has become standard viewing for high school English classes in North America."
Even the Washington Post could not pan the movie, try as they might.
"This solid, smart entertainment will shake you down too -- in the good sense. You'll be reaching for Shelley. Okay, maybe you won't reach for Shelley (unless you're sitting next to someone named Shelley). You'll go home and fall asleep -- but before you do, you'll feel like maybe you want to read poetry. Sometime. Meanwhile, you'll love the movie.
"Sure, the heroes (Williams and the Disciples of Smug) and villains (academic crustaceans and med-school-pushing parents) are arranged in a convenient moral gallery. But the performances, Weir's adroit direction and John Seale's superb cinematography take care of that banality.
"... if you've lived more than five minutes (and they won't let you into the theater otherwise), you already know that most romantic flights of fancy inevitably crash-land. And, in any case, "Poets" also ends with an uplifting note that peals a bell for intellectual freedom, creativity and, if nothing else, more Robin Williams movies."
I confess to being moved, not so much by the film -- as enjoyable and predictable as it was -- as by the door it opened for me into poetry. I have never been a poetry kind of guy. After discovering Ayn Rand and Romanticism in high school, I paid the bucks for Shelley, Byron and Keats, but they were as pointless as Hawthorne. I wanted to like them because Ayn Rand said so, but I just did not "get" it. After Dead Poets, I gave it another shot, buying several anthologies and finding in them some works I could understand. Reading Whitman's Captain in this review ( http://www.generationterrorists.com/quotes/dps.html ) would have made me cry were I not in an administrative office right now.
Finally, there is Robin Williams. I believe that with Dustin Hoffman, he is one of the few true actors we see in Cineplex-47 mainstream films. (Has anyone seen Clint Eastwood cry? Even Bruce Willis can do that, but then, suffering is the one skill Bruce Willis brings to the set. Two cheers for both of Johnny Depp's dimensions! But "Best Actor" goes to Russell Crowe who really acted as if he were intelligent in Beautful Mind.)