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The People Vs. Larry Flynt
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Don't complain about the actions of Mr. Flynt in the movie... after all, he (Flynt) overlooked the production... he really did those things. Perhaps Milos Forman should've CHANGED the events somehow? No!
This film is essentially a sad love story. Nevermind the politics and Ammendement speeches... what we have here is a destructive relationship in the vein of Sid Viscious and Nancy Spungen. It is masterfully directed, beautiful to look at, and deeply engrossing.
Whatever your feelings about Flynt, remember that he did play an important role in our era. Think he's a horrible person? You probably won't get an argument from him, as this film demonstrates.
Woody Harrelson gives a knockout performance as formidable pornographer and publisher of the controversial "Hustler" Magazine. We meet him as a little backwoods boy selling moonshine with his brother, then a grown-up Larry selling a peek at bare-naked ladies, first in the flesh, and later in print, as he starts his publishing empire with his brother. I thought that casting Woody's REAL life brother, Brett Harrelson, as his brother in the movie, was a terrific touch.
Speaking of authenticity, a role has never been so perfect for anyone like the role of Althea Flynt was for actress/musician Courtney Love. I think she is a fascinating dynamic personality, and that works for her extraordinarily well on the screen here. From the moment she saunters out onto the stage to strip for Larry in the beginning, and for every moment she appears on screen through the end, she is truly mesmerizing and captivating. Love accurately captures the innate self-destructiveness of Althea that comes to fruition once Larry is paralyzed. When he recieves heavy narcotic pain killers by injection, she decides to partake as well, while injecting him. We have to assume she was seeking a substitute for the physical pleasures she and a paralyzed Larry, could no longer share. A little timeline shows us how several years go by. When the bedroom vault they've been holed up in opens, Althea is a stumbling, drug addicted, disheveled, punk caricature of her former attractive strong self.Read more ›
The featurettes deserve a special kudos as they're actually quite good, not the normal fluff studios usually put in DVDs. Both were produced in 2003 for the Special Edition and allow the interviewees to reflect on the entire production and theatrical life of the movie and the backlash it recieved from the Left. The interviewees include Foreman, Flynt, Harrelson, the producers, screenwriters, and as a commendable surprise, Rev. Jerry Falwell himself. The featurette on Larry Flynt's life (narrated by Dennis Hopper) gives a brief synopsis of Flynt's entire life -filling in areas that the movie did not cover (like his service in the Army and Navy) and putting the events of the movie in actual chronological order -making it interesting to compare to how the movie interprets the truth.
As for the movie itself, I would recommend that you rent a movie before buying a more expensive "special edition." I personally enjoyed it a lot when it was theaters. Milos Forman's style is very visual, and he's able to keep his subject at enough distance to allow the audience to make up their own minds about him. Harrelson's performance is top notch (he recieved an Oscar nomination) and the rest of the cast definitely fits the bill. It stands alongside Forman's Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.Read more ›
Courtney, I LOVE you in this role. Never have I seen an actress play a role so convincingly as musician and actress Courtney Love played the Althea Flynt character. She was no less than mesmerizingly wild, beautiful, neurotic and one step away from self destruction from the beginning of the film. Then once she joins Larry in taking his pain medication after the assasination attempt outside the courtroom paralyzes him forever, she spirals into oblivion so genuinely played,you can't wait for her scenes. In my opinion, she makes this movie achieve greatness.
Ex-NYC mayor Rudy Guiliani's ex-wife, Donna Hanover, plays a great role as evangelist sister of ex-president Jimmy Carter, Ruth Carter-Stapleton. She introduces Larry to the re-born life, only to lose him again after he is shot, and the epiphany he experienced through her mentoring, is lost.Edward Norton is also wonderful as Larrys long suffering lawyer. When they go up against Jerry Falwell in court, Woody is truly hilarious as Larry at his most ornery. All in all, a very entertaining movie that the prudish, or devout won't care for...but they know who they are, and probably wouldn't be watching this film anyway. For the rest of us, even if we don't like the man, or what he stands for, we will be entertained by this biopic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best and most inspiring films I have ever seen: Though imperfect, Flynt is a hero! This is the meaning of life!Published 6 days ago by Andrew Bushard
Fascinating with stellar performances by Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love. Whatever you might think of what Larry Flynt does, you have to admire his resilience.Published 2 months ago by Laurie F. Fannin
The main reason that I like the movie is that is based on a true story. This case is a very important legal precedent.Published 2 months ago by EmiNesli