Tim Robbins turns 57 tomorrow, October 16th. Looking at his career I’d say he knows all about “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Today’s movie for a #ThrowbackThursday is just a small nod of thanks to the actor who gave the world Andy Dufresne, one of the most iconic movie heroes ever. I talk a lot about the Academy Awards here; The Shawshank Redemption is an important reminder as to how little they mean given the context of time and lasting power. Not only did The Shawshank Redemption not win any of its 7 nominations, Tim Robbins wasn’t even nominated. Ridiculous.
We all know that’s what’s important isn’t really all those nominations: Best Picture, Best Writing (Frank Darabont adapted the Stephen King story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”) Best Cinematography (the acclaimed Roger Deakins) Best Music, Best Sound, Best Editing and Best Actor for the marvelous Morgan Freeman, it’s the message of hope and friendship and yes, love—with Robbins and Freeman’s chemistry being as vital as any male and female leads—in the face of seemingly impossible odds, being what matters at the end of the day. That knob of sheer happiness wobbling around in that place between your heart and your throat as you watch Morgan Freeman’s Red walking toward Tim Robbin’s Andy, the blue sky of freedom all around. That’s what matters.
If you haven’t actually seen the movie, if that’s even possible, you need to give yourself 2 hours and 22 minutes of emotionally powerful storytelling, not at all what I thought a ‘prison break movie’ was going to deliver. The Shawshank Redemption is available to stream on Amazon, YouTube, Vudu and GooglePlay but sadly it’s only available on Netflix as a DVD.