A tenacious lawyer takes on a case involving a major company responsible for causing several people to be diagnosed with leukemia due to the town's water supply being contaminated, at the risk of bankrupting his firm and career.
The scene where Henry fixates on Stanton sitting across the parking lot in a late-night doughnut shop is powerfully reminiscent of the famous 1942 painting "Nighthawks", by Edward Hopper. Hopper's scenario celebrated the friendly, hopeful, tired, hard-working American "common man", and the doughnut shop scene in Primary Colors hammers Stanton's connection with the same demographic, personified by a friendly, hard-working, (not too bright) counter man working the night shift alone, just like his counterpart in Hopper's tableau. See more »
On the morning after Henry's first trip to New Hampshire (which was made spontaneously, without any change of clothes or luggage), his shirt nonetheless changes repeatedly between shots. See more »
[with a gun in her enemy's crotch]
I am a gay lesbian woman! I do not mythologize the male sexual organ!
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I was never a big fan of the novel by Joe Klein that this movie is based on. Like Clinton, it seemed more slick and facile than satirical and insightful. There was a good story trying to get out, but it didn't. The movie manages to bring more of that story to the forefront, like the idea that even a nominee with good ideas and good heart needs to do dirty deeds to get elected because of how screwed up the American system is. I think Kathy Bates also deserves all the praise she's been getting, and Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, and Maura Tierney are also good.
Travolta was a problem. Considering how much the filmmakers tried to distance themselves between their story and Clinton's real-life troubles, this seemed little more than a slick impression, and I found it distracting. I also found missed some of the stuff they cut from the novel, like Thompson's indiscretion with Adrian Lester's character, and the relationship between him and Tierney didn't have the context here that it did in the novel. And again, I was left wondering, "If you hate him that much, why stay?" Overall, an admirable effort, and maybe I'll be more receptive once this whole impeachment garbage fades from memory, but I still found it wanting.
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