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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

All the King’s Men


I picked up this movie because of the cast, no I have not read Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer-winning 1946 novel and if I saw the Oscar-winning 1949 movie probably was on TV (much later on) when I was a kid and I do not remember it.

I mention all this because after reading American critics and viewers’ comments destroying this movie I NO longer wonder why this movie was not allowed to go far beyond the American market. But I am glad that there is a device called DVD that now goes beyond borders.

At least some critics and viewers from overseas loved the film; with others disliking things like there are too many characters and the story is not original. Well I stop here telling you all this because, I for one liked the movie for many reasons and here are some.

First it was interesting to discover that in America there was one man like Huey Long who was Governor of Louisiana that did something for the people and less for the powerful, even do he did things that wont make you or me proud. The novel is fiction but is based on this real life person.

No doubt that the novel touches a very controversial subject that probably today is more controversial than before, as is about the morals and ethics of doing good. So, the story is quite interesting by itself and do not forget that this movie is Steven Zailllian adaptation of the novel, which means that is his own vision of the novel.

Then you have an excellent cast with Sean Penn doing a tremendous performance (I do not particularly like him as an actor, but lately I am starting to change my mind), one of the few times I really liked Jude Law performance, as well as Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley and James Gandolfini. Please do not expect that all the characters are well developed (the movie would have lasted forever), only Penn and Law characters are well developed.

Okay I admit that in the beginning it bothered me the accent the British actors had, as it was supposed to be from the South, but it also bothered me the accent all the other actors had. Then, when the story starts to unravel, I totally forgot about the accent as the story and the acting were really outstanding.

What the great Bollywood movie Guru did to business, this one does to politics and not only American politics, as yesterday and today there are many countries that have the so-called populist governments.

The end is quite dramatic and if you have access to the dvd, check the alternative ending which was less dramatic and more clearly resolving, but it would have been a downer to an exciting story.

Definitively this is not your regular Hollywood movie, this movie feels and looks more like many European and international movies. Also there is no action or special effects, the total movie is based on actors performances and dialogue… magnificent flowery language.

Yes, I recommend this movie to everyone that likes well-done dramas.

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