Scott Barnes (Travolta) is an alcoholic turned social worker hellbent on saving a young boy named Tommy (Lawrence) from self-destructing when he finds out he has begun selling crack in an ... See full summary »
Henry is a lawyer who survives a shooting only to find he cannot remember anything. If that weren't enough, Henry also has to recover his speech and mobility, in a life he no longer fits ... See full summary »
I thought "Primary Colors" (1998:***) was pretty good. It appears to be a lot easier on "Jack Stanton," the Clinton surrogate played by John Travolta, than the book reportedly was. The movie presents "Stanton" as flawed but essentially decent (at least as decent as any politician running for high office can be). Travolta's imitation of Clinton is OK for a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, but it sometimes gets in the way of his performance over the 2-1/2 hour length of the film. However, he's often effective, and Emma Thompson is first-rate as "Susan Stanton", by turns pragmatically worldly-wise and fiercely supportive. Actually, the focal point of the film is not that of the Stantons but the young, black grandson of a highly regarded civil rights leader, who gets sucked into Stanton's roller-coaster campaign and has his idealism sorely tested. He's well-played by an actor named Adrian Lester. There are also great turns by Kathy Bates, Larry Hagman and Billy Bob Thornton, among many others.
For me, the only big drawback of the picture was the melodramatic suicide of a key player in the drama (I won't say who). I thought it was something this particular character would never do. Otherwise, "Colors" is absorbing and funny and moving nearly all the way. Good moment: The Stantons do a "60 Minutes"-like reaffirmation of their marriage, but as soon as the cameras are turned off, she yanks her hand out of his in a flash.
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