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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: John Lee Hancock
Director of Photography:Jack N. Green
Editor:Joel Cox
Music:Lennie Niehaus
Production Designer:Henry Bumstead
Producers:Clint Eastwood and Arnold Stiefel
Warner Bros.; R; 135 minutes
Cast:John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jack Thompson, Irma P. Hall, Jude Law, Alison Eastwood, Lady Chablis and Dorothy Loudon
Based on the book by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Warner Bros.
Comparisons are inevitable, and the film adaptation of the best-selling Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fails to capture the intoxicating charm and eccentricities of Berendt's Savannah. Berendt introduced the colorful cast of characters — a black drag queen, a voodoo priestess, an inventor with enough poison to contaminate Savannah's entire water supply — and their quaint milieu at a leisurely pace, fully developing each character. But a film doesn't accommodate such involved storytelling. The result: a wild mix (sex, politics, voodoo, murder) that doesn't meld well together. New York magazine writer John Kelso (Cusack) travels to Savannah on assignment to cover the annual Christmas party at the renowned Mercer House, hosted by genteel homosexual Jim Williams (Spacey). When Williams's former boyfriend Billy Hanson (Law) is murdered at Mercer house and Williams is the prime suspect, Kelso finds himself obsessed with the murder trial and Savannah. Eastwood's daughter, Alison, is an addition to the story, providing a romantic interest for Kelso, who was gay in the book.

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