Monday, November 07, 2005

Something the Lord Made

This weekend my wife and I watched on DVD an excellent HBO film, entitled Something the Lord Made. (Here is the official website for the film.) Here is's description and review:

Something the Lord Made recounts the relationship between Dr. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) and Vivian Thomas (Mos Def). It begins in 1930s Nashville when imperious cardiac surgeon Blalock hires Thomas, an African American carpenter, as his janitor. When the latter reveals a passion for medicine and facility with surgical instruments, Blalock promotes him to lab tech. Thomas isn't given a raise, works side jobs to make ends meet, and is expected to be grateful. Along the way, he follows Blalock from Vanderbilt to Johns Hopkins, where they save thousands of lives through their pioneering work, but will Thomas ever get any credit? The film provides a satisfying answer to that question. Joseph Sargent (A Lesson Before Dying) directs with subtlety and intelligence, while Rickman and Mos Def are in top form, often underplaying where most actors would do otherwise. Something the Lord Made won the 2004 Emmy for outstanding made-for-TV movie.

It really is a fine film that I'm happy to commend.

If interested, PBS has done a documentary on Bloalock and Thomas, entitled Partners of the Heart, and Thomas wrote an autobiography with the same title.

(HT: CJ Mahaney)