Better late than never, I hadn't viewed Monster's Ball until Heath Ledger's death compelled me to delve deeper into his ability as an actor. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his death, his performance is what drives the film. His character, Sonny, carries such a loneliness with him, that even after his screen time is over you still feel his presence. His character can most definitely be considered the catalyst for the events that follow throughout the film.
Halle Berry gives a good performance but not, in my opinion, one that is Oscar worthy, especially in the same year that Nicole Kidman was up for Moulin Rouge. Billy Bob Thorton gives a harsh performance as usual, but he begins to lift the veil past a tough exterior to reveal a man who was an equal to his son; someone who was very much alone and had a capacity to love, but not an outlet to express it.
Overall the tone of the film can easily be described as dreary or depressing, but once we look at the world we live in and our societies it's easy to notice that this film doesn't stray far from the truth. Many of us are living these same lives; living day to day hoping to find something worth clinging on to, or rather someone, and praying that person is willing to cling to you as well.