Whenever you sit down to watch a movie, it’s always a welcome moment when the name Morgan Freeman appears in the opening credits. Whether he’s playing God in Bruce Almighty, a saintly janitor in Million Dollar Baby, or a judge, detective, mechanic, or prison inmate, you can rest assured that each and every moment Morgan Freeman is on-screen, the movie, even if it’s a dog, will snap to attention, and that Freeman, even in a nothing role, will take the lines he’s been asked to deliver and, through the sheer magnetism of his presence, turn them into something forceful and vibrant and compelling. Those eyes, so kind yet with a hint of deep, and even dark, knowledge, never fail to twinkle with merriness and sly perception, and that voice, of course, is pure music, so playful and resonantly wily — the sound of homespun American authority. I have no doubt that Morgan Freeman could literally read the phone book and make it come off as a work of art.
There’s another thing, though, that I feel compelled to say about Morgan Freeman: In virtually every one of those roles, he is more or less the same. The slightly rascally but deeply moral dominion of his presence clearly derives from something deep inside him, a wellspring of character that he brings to every film. It’s always welcome (he makes every movie better), but at this point it’s almost never revelatory. He surprises us in small ways, but never in big ways. READ FULL STORY »