NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
In the movie reviews for the next
couple of issues I am going to
concentrate on the hard-hitting Oscar contenders. The nominations come out on Feb. 11th (Mardi Gras) this year. It will be really interesting to see who the Academy will pick. The English Patient should be a shoe-in, I reviewed it a couple of issues back. So now we can talk about the movies that I really liked, with the first one being The People vs Larry Flynt.
There was so much controversy about this movie before it was ever made. Larry Flynt, sinner or a saint? Is this the basis of a good movie? The answer is yes. Directed by Oscar winner Milos Forman (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus), The People vs Larry Flynt is a well thought out and well written docu-drama. The People deals with Flynt's life from 1973 to 1988 following his rise to the top of the porn world, his slew of obsenity arrests and his assassination attempt that left him paralyzed; and, finally, his Supreme Court victory over the everybody-hating bigot Jerry Falwell.
The movie stars Woody Harrelson as Flynt and Courtney Love as his bi-sexual, drug-addicted wife Althea Leasure (type-casting perhaps?), who drowned in her bathtub in 1987. This movie portrays Flynt as a First Amendment fighter who is trying to make the world safe for democracy and Hustler's right to publish a magazine that made fun or parodied anything and everybody.
The thing that shocked me was the portrayal of Flynt as a loving human being and not just a typical scumbag which is apparent when Althea contracts AIDS and no one at Flynt Publications will have anything to do with her. Flynt makes all of them accept her as is or they can all go take a hike. Compassion, honesty, and integrity were the last things that I expected from this so-called smut peddler.
The casting of Harrelson as Flynt is wonderful. It is a supreme performance. Woody deserves the Oscar nomination. Love as Althea gives a good performance, but I didn't think it was all that great. Hollywood thinks that Love should get a nomination. I felt that she was just playing herself. Her portrayal hit just a little too close to home for her. Forman deserves the nod for directing, and the writing team of Alexander and Karaszewski (who gave us Ed Wood) deserve the nomination also.
The People vs Larry Flynt is a very good movie, dealing with our rights as human beings is something that we all can identify with, and it is nice to know that there are people out there who will fight for what is right and just-no matter what it is.