Tom Lasusa Links, Dan Grobstein File

All The King's Men

4 stars

As usual, I made the mistake of reading other people's reviews before seeing this film, and they were mixed, so I went in expecting, at best, a 3 or 3.5 star film. Imagine my surprise at being impressed. It wasn't just Sean Penn, Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins, all of whom have impressed me individually in the past. It was the ensemble, the script and directing of Steven Zaillian (from the Robert Penn Warren novel) that came together for me. It's been so long since I saw the 1949 Best Picture version with Broderick Crawford I can no longer remember the details (I am going to see it as soon as I can). Suffice it to say that I like the political part, the romance part and the pacing--in short, almost everything except the length. Two hours! Less please.

Of course the film raises the whole question of whether some films need to be remade, but that's a Pandora's box, so I won't go there.