Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil Movie Review, Movie Review, Rilm Review
|Michael A. Maynez|
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"
The long awaited and highly anticipated film based on John Berendt's "THE BOOK", which has been on the national best sellers list for the last three years and has sold more than two million copies, finally arrived. If you haven't read the book you will enjoy the movie tremendously, unfortunately for those of us who did read the book, you'll wonder what screenwriter John Lee Hancock, had in mind, when he did the adaptation. It is not that he hasn't covered all the venues of the multi-faceted stories. It is just that he made the narrator of this non-fiction book the star of the movie, which is a nice way of holding the pieces of the story line together. John Cusack plays him charmingly but un-involving.
Kevin Spacey is the antique dealer and too bad that the script didn't allowed him to really sink his nails into the role that could easily have been another Academy Award potential for him. He knows the dandified stratospheric world that is his role as Jim Williams, yet its almost glossed over. Jude Law as his hustler lover is almost lost in this flick. Which when you come to think about that, it was the whole crucial point of the story. Here it almost just serves the purpose of bringing in all the weird characters that people the book. I was hoping that this would be such a great jumping point for Jude Law and his cinematic career. Instead "Gattaca" served him so much better.
Irma P. Hall so touching as the grandmother in "Soul Food" creates a magical sorceress as the voodoo high priestess and when she is on the screen, she makes her moments count. Alison Eastwood as Mandy, a passerby in the book becomes romantic fodder for John Cusack, which makes it look like a star tern from her father. Of course Chablis Deveau plays herself as Lady Chablis and she steals the movie with her studied drag-queen antics, please don't use the word transvestite in her presence, she is a riot, but the amount of time on screen is questionable. Jack Thompson is the defense lawyer for the one and only trial on the screen. In real life it took four trials to bring a verdict. Johnny Mercer songs dot the musical soundtrack. I saved, for last, Clint Eastwood as the director of this movie who really envisioned this project. He should have stayed more centered on the actual crime and not let his better judgment get in the way of a screenplay that doesn't deliver the goods. Still the movie is noteworthy especially if you don't read The Book; you'll have a good time in the Garden of what should have been Eden.
Midnight In The Garden
Of Good And Evil
Produced and directed by: Clint Eastwood
Produced by: Arnold Stiefel
With: Kevin Spacey, John Cusack
Co-producer: Tom Rooker
Screenplay by: John Lee Hancock
Edited by: Joel Cox
Production designed by: Henry Bumstead
Director of Photography: Jack N. Green
Music by: Lennie Hiehaus
Produced by: Arnold Stiefel
Executive producer: Anita Zuckerman
Based on the book by: John Berendt
Released 21 November 1997
Soundtrack Album on Malpaso Records/Warner Bros. Records
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Original Date Sunday 23 November 1997
Updated Sunday 23 November 1997