Monster's Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by Marc Forster and written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos, who appear in the film. It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, Halle Berry, Peter Boyle, with Sean Combs, Mos Def, Coronji Calhoun in supporting roles. Thornton portrays a widowed corrections officer who begins a relationship with a woman, unaware that she is the widow of a man he executed. Berry received overwhelming acclaim for her performance and won the Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the first and, as of 2020, only African-American woman to win the award. Hank Grotowski, a widower, his son, are correctional officers in a prison in Georgia, they reside with Hank's father, Buck, a bigoted retired correctional officer whose wife died by suicide. Sonny is friends with Cooper brothers Willie and Darryl, who Hank frightens off with a shotgun at the behest of Buck, is confronted by their father Ryrus. Hank, the prison's deputy warden, will oversee the execution of convicted murderer Lawrence Musgrove.
Musgrove, a talented amateur artist, draws a sketch of Sonny. Sonny has a brief sexual encounter with a prostitute in a motel tries to ask her on a dinner date, but she leaves; the night before the execution, Hank tells Sonny that a "monster's ball" is held by the corrections officers, a get-together of those who will participate in the execution. The proceedings prove too much for Sonny, who, as he is leading Lawrence to the electric chair and collapses. Following the execution, Hank confronts Sonny in the prison's bathroom and slaps him for being so "soft" and for "ruining a man's last walk". After Hank attacks Sonny in his bed and orders him to leave the house, Sonny grabs a revolver from under his pillow and holds his father at gunpoint; the confrontation ends in their living room with Hank sitting on the carpet, Sonny in Buck's customary chair. Sonny asks his father. After his father calmly confirms that he does, always has, Sonny responds, "Well, I always loved you," and shoots himself in the chest, dying.
Hank buries Sonny in the back garden with an abbreviated funeral because, as Buck comments, "He was weak." Hank subsequently resigns as deputy warden, burns his uniform in the backyard, locks the door of Sonny's room. He purchases a local gas station in an attempt to provide a diversion in his retirement; the Coopers offer condolences to Hank, who asks which one is Willie and which one is "Harry" and is corrected politely. During the years of Lawrence's imprisonment leading up to his execution, his wife, has been struggling while raising their son, who has inherited his father's artistic talent, she abusively berates the boy regarding his obesity. Along with her domestic problems, Leticia struggles financially, with an eviction notice on her house from her landlord Bob Ortiz. In desperate need of money, Leticia takes a job at a diner frequented by Hank. Due to lack of maintenance the car breaks down, so Leticia and Tyrell begin walking back and forth from home to the diner. One rainy night and Tyrell are walking down a soaked highway.
Hank happens to be driving along and sees Tyrell lying bloody on the ground and Leticia calling for help. After some hesitation, Hank stops, being told Tyrell was struck by a car, he drives them to a hospital, where Tyrell is pronounced dead. At the suggestion of the authorities at the hospital, Hank drives Leticia home. A few days Hank gives Leticia another ride home from the diner, they begin talking in the car about their common losses, she invites him in. Hank finds out that Leticia is Lawrence's widow, though he does not tell her that he participated in her husband's execution, they have anal sex. Hank takes Sonny's old truck to Ryrus' auto shop and they discuss fixing it up as Ryrus' daughter Maggie plays nearby, with Hank mentioning he wanted to sell the truck, asking if Ryrus' boys could wax it, he offers to give the truck to Leticia, who reluctantly accepts after initial protests of discomfort. Leticia stops by Hank's home with a present for him, she meets Buck, who insults her and implies that Hank is only involved with her because he enjoys sex with black women.
Leticia, affected by the remarks, refuses to interact with Hank. After Hank is made aware of Buck's actions, he forces his father out of the house and into a nursing home, he renames the gas station "Leticia's", saying it is his girlfriend's name when asked. Leticia is evicted from her home and Hank invites her to move in with him, she discovers Hank's involvement in her husband's death when she finds the drawings of Sonny and Hank done by Lawrence as he awaited execution. She is still there waiting for him when he returns from town with ice cream; the film ends with the two of them eating ice cream together on the back porch, content with each other. Billy Bob Thornton as Hank Grotowski Halle Berry as Leticia Musgrove Heath Ledger as Sonny Grotowski Peter Boyle as Buck Grotowski Coronji Calhoun as Tyrell Musgrove Sean Combs as Lawrence Musgrove Mos Def as Ryrus Cooper Charles Cowan Jr. as Willie Cooper, one of Ryrus' sons Taylor LaGrange as Darryl Cooper, Ryrus' other son Clara Infinity Daniels as Maggie Cooper, Ryrus' daughter Will Rokos as Warden Velesco Milo Addica as Tommy Roulaine Amber Rules as Vera The film was produced by Lionsgate and Lee Daniels Entertainment.
The film received positive reviews, with Berry's performance being accl
Lectka and co-workers developed a catalytic, asymmetric method to synthesize β-lactams. Achiral ketenes and imines, in the presence of a chiral nucleophilic catalyst, are allowed to react to make β-lactams in high yields, enantioselectivities, diastereoselectivities; the proton sponge acts as a base to deprotonate the α-proton to the carbonyl in order to generate the ketene. Cinchona alkaloids are available and inexpensive natural products that have features making them useful asymmetric organocatalysts; the quinoline and quinuclidine rings are sterically demanding groups that can induce a high degree of stereoselectivity. The tertiary amine contained within the quinuclidine can act as a nucleophile that attacks the most electrophilic carbon of the ketene to promote the formation of β-lactams. Chiral ketene enolate formation via nucleophilic activation by the cinchona alkaloid facilitates enantioselective and diastereoselective β-lactam synthesis. Unlike the Staudinger β-lactam synthesis, the umpolung ketene in the Lectka β-lactam synthesis behaves as the nucleophile rather than the electrophile.
The imine in the Lectka synthesis behaves as the electrophile rather than the nucleophile as seen in the Staudinger β-lactam synthesis. The chiral ketene enolate nucleophile attacks electrophilic carbon of the imine group. Subsequent ring closure leads to the formation of the β-lactam and the regeneration of the chiral nucleophilic organocatalyst. Taggi, A.. "The development of the first catalyzed reaction of ketenes and imines: Catalytic, asymmetric synthesis of beta-lactams". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 124: 6626–6635. Doi:10.1021/ja0258226. PMID 12047183. France, S.. "Bifunctional Lewis acid-nucleophile-based asymmetric catalysis: Mechanistic evidence for imine activation working in tandem with chiral enolate formation in the synthesis of beta-lactams". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127: 1206–1215. Doi:10.1021/ja044179f. PMID 15669860