Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jack Thompson, Irma P. Hall, Jude Law, Alison Eastwood directed by Clint Eastwood Movie Review

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)   2/52/52/52/52/5

John Cusack and Kevin Spacey in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

Roll on Midday

Young journalist John Kelso (John Cusack) arrives in Savannah, Georgia to cover the town's Christmas celebrations for "Town and Country". John immediately becomes intrigued by the wide range of characters he meets from Mandy (Alison Eastwood) to local society figure Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey). It is Jim who John finds himself very intrigued by when his male lover Billy Hanson (Jude Law) is shot dead and Jim claims self defence. The question is was it?

Let me give you the facts about "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", it is an adaptation of a book written by John Berendt and the book is based on a true story which took place in Savannah, Georgia during the 1980s. Whilst unsurprisingly I have never read Berendt's novel I am lead to believe in adapting the story that various characters have been combined and an additional love interest was added to make the story work as a movie.

Now for the review and this will be short and sweet as whilst John Cusack tries to give his thinly written character some character and Kevin Spacey makes Jim Williams a cool but also flamboyant character the movie itself is boring. Oh it has some attention grabbing quirks such as a man walking a dog collar and lead but no dog as well as another who has flies tied to him but overall it is boring. And the reason why is whilst Eastwood is obviously trying to paint a picture of a colourful world in which Jim Williams lives in you constantly find yourself wishing he just got on with it and got to the main storyline which is whether or not Jim killed his lover in self defence whilst dealing with the consequences of having a male lover.

What this all boils down to is that "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" is one of those rare misses for Clint Eastwood as a director and for me it seems like in trying to create the quirky atmosphere he became distracted and causes the story to end up feeling drawn out. If it wasn't for the fact that in Cusack and Spacey he had two actors who gain an audiences sympathy and attention "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" could have ended up unwatchable.