Clint Eastwood's quirky, atmospheric MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL (1997) is now available on a beautiful Blu-ray from the Warner Archive.
Clint Eastwood directed from a screenplay by John Lee Hancock, based on a novel by John Berendt.
John Cusack stars as John Kelso, a New York magazine writer who arrives in Savannah at Christmastime to write a feature on millionaire Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey).
Kelso immediately finds himself in a slightly off-kilter world, attending Christmas parties and meeting oddball characters, but things are about to get stranger still, when Williams shoots and kills Billy (Jude Law). Kelso now has a new assignment, covering the murder trial.
passed away last September); and the Married Ladies Card Club. And let's not forget the man who walks an invisible dog!
For the most part the film is engrossing, though I was impatient with Geoffrey Lewis's "fly man" character; it was completely unbelievable someone who acted in such an imbalanced way would be on a jury, even in this movie!
On the plus side, I loved the movie's ongoing tribute to Savannah native Johnny Mercer, beginning with a shot of his burial place as the film begins; his songs are heard throughout the movie.
Spacey is magnetic as Williams, and Cusack does a great job, his expressions often simultaneously conveying worry and an awed "I can't even believe what a great story this is!"
The film's leisurely pace seems to fit its subject matter, though in truth I started growing restless near the end of its 155 minutes. Trimming ten minutes or so -- particularly the fly man scenes -- would have probably been a wise idea.
The movie was filmed on location in Savannah by Jack N. Green.
Parental Advisory: This film is rated R for "language and brief violence." I would add to that that some of the themes are fairly adult.
The Warner Archive Blu-ray is a terrific-looking widescreen print. The disc includes a featurette and the trailer.
Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray. Warner Archive Blu-rays may be ordered from the WBShop.