Children of a Lesser God, starring Marlee Matlin, William Hurt and Piper Laurie, directed by Randa Haines.1986. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.D35C55 2000.
Marlee Matlin stars as Sarah, a high school custodian at a school for the deaf. William Hurt, as James Leeds, begins the term as a new teacher and discovers that Sarah is also hearing impaired and refuses to learn lip reading. Angry and anti-social, Sarah has refused to leave the high school and taken her job rather than venture beyond the walls.
Leeds is at first intrigued by her, then finds himself falling in love with her. But between her anger and his attempts to impose a lifestyle on her she doesn’t want, a constant struggle develops that threatens to overcome them both.
Though not as hard-edged as the novel, the movie is compelling and seriously takes on important themes. The supporting cast is superb—especially Piper Laurie as Sarah’s mother. At 21, Matlin became the youngest person ever to win an Oscar for Best actress in this role.