Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - 1997 - Dir. Eastwood

I was expecting a murder mystery when I started watching this. It is not a murder mystery. I also didn't realize that it was based on actual events, whatever that might mean. I certainly wasn't expecting anything so... strange. So yeah, clearly, I didn't know anything about what I was getting into. It's a bizarre, uneven film. It seems that Eastwood either didn't know what he wanted to do with the film or he knew but couldn't pull it all together. The film leaps between Courtroom Drama and quirky southern character pieces. The Courtroom aspect bothered me quite a bit. It felt completely dramatic. Perhaps it's the mix of both Spacey and Cusack. Spacey's Southern Gentlemen seems to smile through the charges, as does his lawyer. While Cusack seems to remain distant from the entire procedure. Clearly he's rooting for Williams, but always seems to want to avoid being too involved. So, there never feels like too much is driving the story forward. A by-product of the film's attempt to re-create the feeling of the South? Maybe. The problem is that the "feeling" isn't much more interesting. Characters are lightly quirky, but never deep. He get mere sketches of these people so their existence is simply factual and helps color the film, but it doesn't save it from it's lull. Irma P. Hall ends up being the most interesting by far. Or maybe it's just my love of Voodoo ladies. Geoffrey Lewis' role is bizarre. Easily the strangest of the cast of characters, it goes really nowhere. And the "Fly" effects are pretty terrible. They were so bad that I thought maybe it was on purpose when we first see them. It's well-acted and strangely well-paced. For a two-and-a-half hour long movie as problematic, I'd expect this to drag a lot more. It's pretty interesting in the sense of I felt like I was trying to sort the movie out the whole way through, but by the end, realizing there was nothing to sort, I felt let down... and crabby.
It's a JAR, Cusack! You ain't never seen one of these before?

No comments:

Post a Comment