This panoramic tale of Savannah's eccentricities focuses on a murder and the subsequent trial of Jim Williams: self made man, art collector, antiques dealer, bon vivant and semi-closeted homosexual. John Kelso a magazine reporter finds himself in Savannah amid the beautiful architecture and odd doings to write a feature on one of William's famous Christmas parties. He is intrigued by Williams from the start, but his curiosity is piqued when he meets Jim's violent, young and sexy lover, Billy. Later that night, Billy is dead, and Kelso stays on to cover the murder trial. Along the way he encounters the irrepressible Lady Chablis, a drag queen commedienne, Sonny Seiler, lawyer to Williams, whose famous dog UGA is the official mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs, an odd man who keeps flies attached to mini leashes on his lapels and threatens daily to poison the water supply, the Married Ladies Card Club, and Minerva, a spiritualist. Between being Jim's buddy, cuddling up to a torch singer, ... Written by
Teresa B. O'Donnell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Jim reaches for his glass on the piano, the first shot shot shows him reaching in between a man and a woman. The next shot shows him from a different angle and he is now retrieving his glass from behind the woman instead of between. See more »
Quit eye balling me, Flavius. I knew you when you was a two bit hustler on Bull Street.
See more »
Closing disclaimer: This film is based upon John Berendt's book "MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL". Dialogue and certain events and characters contained in the film were created for the purposes of dramatization. See more »
If, like me, you live in a cave, you may not know that this film is adapted from a bestselling non-fiction book and based on a true story. Each character is based on a real life person, and some of these people even play themselves in the film. It's very hard to believe because every single person in this movie is clinically insane.
This movie surprised & impressed the heck out of me. I thought it would be a straightforward thriller, but it's more like a dark comedy with a deep social message. Sort of like "Heathers" meets "To Kill a Mockingbird".
In the tradition of "The Unforgiven", director Clint Eastwood again takes us to a place where what you see ain't always what you get. There are 2 sides to every story, and it's just a momentary line that separates the two (as the title says "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil").
The plot is almost insignificant in light of this. If you watch this film, focus on the dichotomy of outward appearances vs. what's beneath. At times it's about abstract concepts like loyalty which seems solid on the surface, but when tested it flops like a bad soufflé. At other times the theme is quite literal, as with a flamboyantly feminine woman who's hiding "a man's toolbox" under her dress, if ya know what I mean. Everyone in this kooky town has some secret deviation, even though they all coexist in an atmosphere of fine southern charm.
Watch John Cusack's expressions closely, and I guarantee you'll get a few big LOLs. He plays the role of a New York writer who finds himself in the middle of this bizarre world, struggling to get a grasp of what's real. He spends most of the first half with his mouth wide open in disbelief.
The second half is when the plot kicks in, taking us on a murder mystery and its subsequent courtroom drama. Here the film changes to a more serious tone, but the themes remain the same. Don't expect any car chases, shootouts or flashy pyrotechnics. Don't even expect much of a Sherlock Holmesian revelation to the mystery. But if you go into it not knowing what to expect, I think you'll have a great time.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?