This list is complied from the films mentioned in Jack Lehtonen's Mubi list on vulgar auteurism, the films mentioned in…
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
A visiting city reporter's assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire, whom he befriends.
Part of Graham J's There's Something About Midnight Challenge
“Which conversation shall we join?” “The one least likely to involve gunfire.”
The average daily high temperature in Savannah, Georgia in December is 63° Fahrenheit (17° Celsius), and the average daily low is 41° Fahrenheit (5° Celsius). Light jacket weather during day, warmer coat weather at night, one might say. It is Christmastide 1981 (we know it is Christmas because Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey) is about to hold his annual Christmas party, but we do not realize the year until informed of it much later; only anachronistic automobiles lend a jarring suggestion that the otherwise contemporary-seeming proceedings are in fact historical). Despite the season, everyone is dressed as though it is…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Based on a true crime story! What makes this film intriguing has nothing to do with the murder, it has everything to do with its colorful characters!
The flamboyant drag queen Lady Chablis whom just happens to play herself/himself in the film!
Luther Driggers the man whom walked around with flies buzzing all around him (They were attached to him via string)! Oh yeah he also carries a vial full of poison just like he does in the film!
Minerva the local voodoo high priestess!
Mr. Glover the man walking a dead dog named Patrick!
I'm a sucker for strong character driven plots and this film is bursting at the seams with quirky, eccentric characters that add flavor to the film as much as they do in the real world!
A companion piece to High-Plains Drifter (and certainly Uncle Clint's most peculiar film since that, considering the number of colourful characters) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a film about Justice. Justice is a rather serious matter to be left completely in the hands of men. Because men have weaknesses. And there might be no river in Savannah to bury their sins and wash them clean, but they seem to have no trouble doing it right under the sun. Εvery once in a while though somebody else intervenes to restore the balance.
This one stands on the side of natural law (lawyer Sonny Seiler's statement that he doesn't know Thomas Hobbes, one of the most enthusiastic endorsers of natural law, is a nice touch). Make no mistake though. Clint Eastwood doesn't defy positive law. He just doesn't trust men who implement it and enforce it.
This falls into the other two Eastwood thrillers from this period Absolute Power, and True Crime in that they area all thrillers with prestigious casts that suffer from seriously bad pacing. I get a feeling that nobody could tell Eastwood to cut these movies down at this point because all three are over 2 hours, and I think all could do with some serious trimming. Additionally this one has real cohesion problems with the supernatural elements, seeming to come from a different movie than the more traditional courtroom material.
Cast wise we get a typically wonderful performance from Kevin Spacey, and a typically bland turn from John Cusack. Its in the cinematography that this film really misses an opportunity. This…
Quite an odd film from Clint Eastwood, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil makes great use of the sweltering, sweaty Savannah locations, soaked in the mysticism and supernatural-ness inherent in that area. It seemed like it was going to be one type of movie for the first 20 minutes or so, before morphing unexpectedly into a court room drama (unexpected for someone who hasn't read the synopsis, source novel, reviews etc like me anyway). It works though, with good performances from John Cusack and Kevin Spacey, and a supporting cast of eccentric characters including a trans-gender club singer and a man who walks an imaginary dog around the park. It sounds like an absolute mess but bizarrely it works, not completely satisfyingly, but due to Eastwood's assured direction and some top notch acting, it's a strange melange that I enjoyed sampling.
Clint Eastwood's 1997 courtroom drama, based on the best selling novel of the same name, creates a vivid sense of place, the Savannah location giving as much flavour to the film as Kevin Spacey's Southern flamboyance, and John Cusack's Yankee writer. It is effortlessly exploited by Eastwood's classical style, the film is shot with skill when dealing with the exteriors, though the courtroom scenes are a little visually generic. The Southern Gothic style, enlighten by Lady Chablis' amusing effervescence, and presence of voodoo; makes this 150 minute film a really entertaining and engaging film. Interesting, intelligent, well crafted. Eastwood, really.
Excellent detective story in a "Gone with the Wind" mood. Kevin Spacey as paradigm of Rhett Butler. That's all you need.
I enjoyed watching Eastwood's adaptation of John Berendt's non-fiction true crime, but in the end I felt it didn't amount to much. From what I understand of the book, it's as much a portrait of the community of Savannah as it is an account of the trial of one of its most prominent citizens (for the murder of his gay lover). This would explain all the detours the movie takes. The film's protagonist John Kelso (a stand in for the author) begins a romance with a woman who works in a flower shop, goes to a party hosted by a disbarred alcoholic, visits graveyards with voodoo practitioners, and hangs out with a local drag queen, very little of which has…
When repression and expression collide.
"(Midnight) In-A-Gadda-Dagooda-Eva, honey, don't you know that I love you?" It probably would have been easier to quote, I don't know, like, "Guns N' Roses' "Garden of Eden", but the Iron Butterfly classic almost of the same name in question is ultimately a better fit when you also factor in that this film is too long, a little slow, and rather unusual, at least for Clint Eastwood. In 1997, it was a little odd for Eastwood to not star in a film he was directing, and considering that the last time he did that by this time got us "Bird", it's probably a good thing that he went on to do this more often. Hey, Eastwood is awesome and everything,…
Haven't read the book, but this has some interesting moments and Clint always has something to say as a director (for better or worse). Don't mind Cusack or Spacey in it, though a fascinating Savannah setting perhaps isn't maximised to its full potential. Instead far too much time is spent on the voodoo witch doctor who seems so out of place and stifles the story.
A rating of under 50% on Rotten Tomatoes and a polarity of views here on Letterboxd, ranging from "boring" and "annoying" with "substandard acting" to "glorious", "entertaining and engaging" and "well crafted".
It all adds up to Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil being an acquired taste, shall we say - to call it a curate's egg would be overly harsh in my view. For starters, it's a true story that is at least intriguing - the rather creepy 'Bird Girl' sculpture from the poster and title sequence (it has a backstory all of its own) is a motif that grabs you and draws you in.
Then there's the inhabitants of Savannah, Georgia - a historic city that…
DVD in VA w/my parents and Jon
Most issues I have are things the director could have done something about. The acting felt staid at points and several scenes went on too long. Makes me want to read the book.
I liked it. Recommend.
Directed by Clint Eastwood this film based on the novel of the same name stars Kevin Spacey, John Cusack and Jack Thompson. A writer travels to Savannah, Georgia to cover a high society Christmas party and finds himself involved in the investigation of the host for shooting his lover.
The book this film is based on is inspired by real events and between the two adaptations there is a fair amount of slippage in terms of reality. What we end up with here is a gothic tale of prejudice and lies which is hard to pin down at times. There are some good performances but in condensing for the screen I think some of the detail has been lost sadly.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"I have an eye for framing things."
Roger Ebert wrote in his review: They say people who hadn't read "The Bonfire of the Vanities'' liked the movie more than those who knew the book. Maybe the same thing will happen with "Midnight.''
That seems to be the case, as I wasn't aware that this movie was based on a novel and that said novel was a book out of the nonfiction-genre. After watching this highly entertaining society-thriller, I wouldn't have guessed, that it is a dramatization of real events. The characters seem to live in a parallel universe and Savannah looks more like a fever dream than a real town. Then again, I haven't read the novel and have never…
Only 5 star films are listed!
I'm pretty sure I forgot a dozen titles and don't ask why some films count and others don't (also the…