The Rainmeker, The Rainmaker movie review, Movie Review, Rilm Review
|Michael A. Maynez|
With the advent of John Grisham's "The Rainmaker", Francis Ford Coppola returns to his "Godfather's" stature as a director. His writing and directing of the John Grisham's novel adaptation lifts him to esthetic heights.
The unlikely duo of Matt Damon and Danny DeVito provides the greatest enjoyment of the movie. This team makes it work for the heavy load they have to carry in trying to beat a billionaire insurance company by the name of Great Benefit. The Insurance Company has defaulted or rather claim denied of a destitute family whose son needed a bone marrow transplant. It really is a case and half for the young lawyer who is facing his first bar exam and who has been left holding the bag by Mickey Rourke an older established lawyer, against the big hot shot corporate pirana lawyers. Jon Voight delivers a performance that matches his unforgettable , Academy Award performance in "Coming Home", his villainy is flawless . Danny DeVito energizes the movie with a couple of copper batteries that never lets up. He is funny without even trying and the basic realism of all involved makes this a movie to really discuss long after you left the theatre. The side stories are genuinely digested while enhancing the whole of the story.
The love interest provided by Claire Danes, in one of her better roles , in the pathetic role of a battered wife is handled with great care and sensitivity. Andrew Shue as a bat-swinging husband is terrifying.
The casting is magnificent, besides all those already mentioned. We have to give kudos to Teresa Wright, (remember her, a great actress of the forties and fifties?) she is a delightful surprise, Mary Kay Place, Dean Stockwell, Virginia Madsen , as a very revealing witness, Danny Glover, Roy Scheider. Wow, no wonder Francis Ford Coppola is in hog heaven. It is Matt Damon, the current heartthrob that will leave everyone knowledgeably talking of why he is really receiving so much press. He not only gives a down to earth performance but you know where he is going. What with "Good Will Hunting" which he co-wrote, with his buddy Ben Affleck, of "Chasing Amy" fame. And now a Gus Van Sant movie with a small role by Robin Williams Plus his now finished role in Steven Spielberg 's title role "Saving Private Ryan". Not bad for an also-ran to a coveted actor. Plus the front cover in Vanity Fair Magazine, December issue. His sense of humor is demonstrated with a rose stuck in his opened fly. He is fresh all right.
Produced by: Michael Douglas, Steven Reutherr, Fred Fuchs
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
With: Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Mickey Rourke, Danny DeVito
Music by: Elmer Bernstein
Costume Designer: Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Edited by: Barry Malkin
Production Designer: Howard Cummings
Director of Photography: John Toll
Co-producer: Georgia Kacandes
Based on the novel by: John Grisham
Narration by: Michael Herr
Screenplay by: Francis Ford Coppola
Released 21 November 1997
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Original Date Sunday 23 November 1997
Updated Thursday 1 January 1998