19 October 2011

12 Oct - "What money I have is about eleven years old"

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
dir. Clint Eastwood

John Cusack (Must Love Dogs, 2005)
Kevin Spacey (The Ref, 1994)
Irma P. Hall (Patch Adams, 1998)
Jude Law (Gattaca, 1997)
Paul Hipp (Face/Off, 1997)
Kim Hunter (Planet of the Apes, 1968)
Geoffrey Lewis (Maverick, 1994)
Leon Rippy (The Patriot, 2000)
Bob Gunton (Glory, 1989)
J. Patrick McCormack (Wag the Dog, 1997)
Rhoda Griffis (Road Trip, 2000)
Michael Rosenbaum (Sorority Boys, 2002)
Ted Manson (Elizabethtown, 2005)
Ann Cusack (A League of Their Own, 1992)
James Gandolfini (True Romance, 1993)

As a northern in the South, I empathize with John Cusak in this movie, because I feel like we're both working on uphill battles. The glory, of course, is that in the end the status quo hasn't changed a bit, because it never does here.

Everybody says exactly what they don't mean.

The movie is about a murder. Kevin Spacey's character, whose one of those elite Southern mansion types who walks around with Ugga, the UGA school mascot, shoots his young lover, played by Jude Law trying his best at a real low Southern accent. Over the course of the trial, Spacey's homosexuality is revealed, but the grand revelation, which should have ruptured the community, doesn't ruffle any feathers because everybody already knew he was gay, so they just shuffle side to side and bury their heads a little deeper in the sand.

They all know what they say they don't know.

Adding a little flavor to the mystery are the colorful side characters including my favorite, the Lady Chablis, a transvestite showgirl, and a voodoo priestess. All the glitz and distractions only remind you that Cusak isn't meant to solve the mystery, because in this place the party never stops and everyone just keeps smiling and smiling as the world around them crumbles. Savannah reminds me of decay and ruined lost cities like those in Mexico. One day tourists will be walking around those Southern mansions and wondering what kind of people lived in places like these.

The movie seems to jump mostly between various parties and courtroom scenes. Even as Cusak is trying to solve the mystery he has to respect social custom and play nice. Another difference between Northerners and Southerners: Northerners get about the business at hand while Southerners are always playing at niceties, but at least when a Northerner gets around to being nice you can be sure that it's genuine. I watched this movie a week ago so I'm not sure what else I wanted to talk about but I liked it. I think I might try to read the book.

No comments:

Post a Comment