luni, 10 aprilie 2017

The People vs. Larry Flynt, directed by Milos Forman and with Woody Harrelson in the leading role

The People vs. Larry Flynt, directed by Milos Forman and with Woody Harrelson in the leading role

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

This is a marvelous film.
Milos Forman is one of the best directors, with masterpieces like

-          One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
-          The Fireman's Ball and Amadeus

The cast is brilliant, with

-          Woody Harrelson and Edward Norton in top form.

Courtney Love is not a favorite of mine, but she does a good job.

It could be considered preposterous to make a big thing out of the life of industry mogul.
And yet, Milos Forman and his superb team deliver a chef d'oeuvre.

Having decided to portray Larry Flynt and his excessive behavior, there is a price to pay.
My guess is that the subject matter has impeded this film from getting Academy Awards and surely other coveted prizes.

And those in the film are aware of that.
Edward Norton portrays brilliantly the lawyer Alan Isaacman.

Pleading in court, he says very well that he does not like what Larry Flynt does.
But the point is that freedom of speech is at stake here.

This is the most important theme of the movie

The need to protect freedom of speech

And even when the one under accusation is an obnoxious personage as Larry Flynt.
And he does so much to upset everyone.

He is provocative and likes to include in Hustler, his magazine, images that offend

Father Christmas, characters from The Wizard of Oz...nothing is sacred for the rebel.
There is a period when he becomes religious, influenced by the president's sister.

But as he is shot by a fundamentalist, he loses faith in a God that has allowed him to suffer so much.
His constant attacks on religious figures and symbols, Jerry Falwell and others can be funny.

His confrontations with judges end with severe, if unjust sentences.
Larry Flynt was cast in the role of one of these biased judges, with an interesting effect.

It is touching to watch the dedication that Larry Flynt felt for his wife, Althea.
Courtney Love plays that role.

Even if they have so much sex, they have kept some values intact.
They have threesomes in the jacuzzi and surely elsewhere, Althea likes to have intercourse with women too and she poses for Hustler.

But she is loyal to her husband, at least in some spiritual way.
As for sex, Larry Flynt makes a powerful case when he shows huge photos with war atrocities alternating with images of copulation.

-          They say that to take a photo of someone killed would bring the Pullitzer
-          And yet, photos of love making are considered obscene and illegal

-          What is ugly?

-          This image of war with a multitude of people killed, or this

-          Photograph of sex?

An exceptional film!

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