Cradle Will Rock ★★★½

I have friends who think this film is important because it's hard to think of any Hollywood movie as unapologetically leftist as this one is - I mean, we're talking about a movie where Nelson Rockefeller and William Randolph Hearst plot out a plan to marginalize socialist artists while dressed up as Louis XVI-era French courtiers, for god's sake.

But it's trying to do everything all at once, and because it tries to do everything it ends up doing nothing as well as it could have. There's half a dozen better movies inside this one waiting to be made - Bill Murray's ventrioloquist is a movie all by himself, as is Diego Riviera's friendship-cum-battle with Rockefeller, as is the actual cast in the play, as is Cherry Jones as Hallie Flanagan, as is Marc Blitzstein's near-breakdown as he composes the play in the first place. Too much of everything means not enough of anything, and the movie suffers for it.

But it also means nothing is bad. There's a ton of great performances here, some adept camera choices by Tim Robbins, and dynamic set-pieces all throughout the film - there's so much energy here in a film that's mostly a talker.

Basically it's a wonderful misfire. There are worse things.