One of the things I love about this blog series is that I'm given a chance to watch films which I wouldn't have seen otherwise. Mostly it's a rewarding experience though sometimes it's not. Thankfully Witness falls into the category of amazing discoveries especially as the film is also one of my blind spots. Not only did I assume this was just one of your run-of-the-mill crime thrillers, but I had no idea that Harrison Ford actually picked up his one and only Oscar nomination for this film.
Apart from giving us a chance to ogle at young Harrison Ford for nearly two hours, the film itself is superb. It *is* a crime thriller, but it's more heartfelt and intimate and could very well be categorized as a love story as well. A lot of this is due to the film's unique locale, setting most of the action in the beautiful Amish countryside among its quiet people as well as the searingly hot chemistry between Ford and Kelly McGillis.
A lot of my favorite moments in the film takes place between the two of them. Two great shots in particular highlight the film's intimacy via these two characters:
The first shot is McGillis taking care of Ford by bandaging his shot wound while the second shot is towards the end of the absolutely beautiful and touching sequence of them dancing in the barn. The second shot especially is crackling with sexual tension only to be broken up by her father thus leading to my pick for favorite shot...
It's not the most intimate of shots and yet it's clear something intimate was interrupted. Ford gets a lot of praise in this role, but McGillis is just as fantastic. Look at her face and stance here. While Ford, the tough city cop, seems to shrink from slight embarrassment, she stands firm with complete resolved evident in her face. I also love how the barn looks in the background lit mostly by the car's head and rear lights giving it a warm, ethereal feel. Who knew a crime thriller could provide me with such feelings and yet this one did.