I had no idea what this movie was about from the onset, and for some reason I didn’t think that I would enjoy it all that much. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was this a good movie, but in fact a great movie.
The movie is a true story, or at least based on true events. John Cusack and Kevin Spacy have outstanding chemistry, and the others in the film (of which there are an awful lot) each perform their roles nearly perfectly. Two of the actors had been directly involved with actual case, the drag queen The Lady Chablis played more or less herself, while Sonny Seiler (Jim Williams’s lawyer from the actual trial) played the Judge in the movie, which I would guess to be something of the ultimate lawyer’s fantasy. I immediately recognized Richard Herd, not by name, but by face, as I grew up watching him play George Castanza’s Boss at the Yankee’s, Mr. Wilhelm, on Seinfeld.
I couldn’t stand the character of Luther Driggers. He kept flies attached to him by strings and threatened to poison the town’s water supply. If I was at a restaurant and saw someone like that walk in, I would leave. Evidently some of the “more colorful characters” from the book were left out of the movie, which is hard to imagine, as this movie has perhaps the most colorful cast of characters I’ve ever seen outside of animated movies.
A simple Courtroom Drama this is not, I would highly recommend it to just about anyone, for any number of reasons.