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Marcus Carl Franklin,
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In an effort to finish a film before turning thirty, Riley Young documents and re-creates the supposedly-true stories of a retired secret agent using local talent, a VHS camcorder, and every low-budget trick he knows.
James Golden is a small town, middle aged lawyer. He has raised his family and spent his entire life in Harper, Alabama. When a major nursing home malpractice death case comes into his office, he is determined to handle the case all the way to a jury trial, even though it is an area of law in which he has never practiced and against corporate defendants that never lose. An inexperienced but eager young associate, Paul Bruce, joins the fight with him. The intensity of the litigation takes them both to places and challenges they never knew and far from a small town to a larger life. Written by
Perhaps missing from many legal thrillers is a writer who has actually tried cases in the courtroom. Bill Lundy gives a view that almost feels like a documentary, but with much emotion. Set in the fictional small town of Harper, Alabama, James Golden and his family live a normal life. The characters are just what you would expect in a small town, simply delightful. Golden and his family run a little children's theatre and he handles the small town law practice with no problems. Then, a big nursing home malpractice case walks in his door (and there is a funny scene showing how the client avoided hiring the TV lawyers), and suddenly Golden and his young associate, Paul Bruce, are in new "uncomfortable" territory. Laura Lundy Wheale is such a natural and does an outstanding job as Paul Bruce's young bride. The story of getting to trial and living the small town life is richly told, and so real. Fred Thompson, as Golden's senior partner who has retired due to a stroke, provides sage advice as Golden and Bruce prepare for trial. The dialogue is sparse and to the point. The characters are likable and I thoroughly enjoyed this independent film from start to finish. The ending has much to reveal and I don't want to give it away, but suffice it to say it was just right, and a total surprise. The title fits the film. If someone had told me this was written by John Grisham, I totally would have believed them, I actually can't wait to see it again.
I recommend this film for anyone and any age.
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