The Life of David Gale (Widescreen Edition)
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Keving Spacey is great and Kate Winslett convincingly drops her British accent in a tale of an anti-death penalty advocate who is awaiting execution for the murder of one of his fellow advocates. Winslett's character (Bitsy) is a reporter who has the assignment of getting Gale's story before he dies and proving his innocence. As the Gale's story unfolds one scene early on is very important. That is where Gale is in a televised debate with the governer of Texas over the merits of the death penalty. The debate turns into a shouting match with Gale cornering the governer into stating that if Gale could name one "innocent" person who received the death penalty, that he would sign an order to abolish the penalty in Texas. As the movie winds towards a climatic ending we begin to realize that it is more important that Bitsy can prove Gale's innocence, than save him from leathal injunction.
The movie is full of plot-twists and incredible suspense with a few scenes that will startle you.
Kevin Spacey fleshes out the title role as a believable philosophy professor who speaks against capital punishment in the state of Texas which just happens to be the place where more executions are performed than any other state. He is not without problems: alcohol, a drunken sexual relationship with a former student, and an awkward but deeply significant relationship with Constance (Laura Linney) who later when found 'murdered and raped' on videotape results in the arrest and conviction of Spacey's Gale, now facing death on death row. Laura Linney is most credible as a driven anti-death penalty activist for reasons we discover are beyond the range of civil rights reponsibilty. The third part of this triangle is the reporter brought in to investigate Gale's claim to innocence in the last four days of his wait on death row. Kate Winslet captures all the parameters of this contemporary woman with seamless detail. To tell more of the story would be injurious to the unfolding of this worthwhile drama.
For a 2 hour plus movie THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE manages to hold our interest, encouraging us as viewers to keep our invetigatory eyes and ears open and struggle along with Winslet and her cohort to finally put together all the pieces of the puzzle. Others have complained that the clues are in every scene: isn't that true of most crime investigations?Read more ›
Basically, "The Life of David Gale" is a death row story, but more like "True Crime" than "The Chamber," "The Green Mile," or "Dead Man Walking," which means it is mystery-thriller. Days before his execution in Texas, Gale's attorney contacts Bloom's magazine about his first and only story from prison. Gale was a professor of philosophy (just like the writer) at a major Texas university and a major voice in the (fictional) anti-death penalty group Death Watch along with his friend, Constance Hallaway (Laura Linney). But then his life implodes when one of his students (Rhona Mitra) has sex with him in a bathroom during a college party and then cries rape. His wife leaves with his son, he is put on permanent sabbatical, and Death Watch wants nothing to do with him. When Connie is found dead he is tried, convicted for rape and murder, and sentence to death.Read more ›
me, i didn't see the ending coming, but i do think it made perfect sense. many objected that spacey and linney undermined their own cause by their "stunt". i don't agree. first, the full story wasn't meant to be disclosed to the public, only to the reporter. second, and more important, the ending was not done solely to prove a point, as many have suggested. in fact, linney was already terminally ill and spacey's fortunes had fallen to the point where he had little to live for. the so-called "stunt" was really a way to make their lives - and their inevitable deaths - more meaningful. making a point about capital punishment was only one part of it, the public dimension. there were very real private considerations as well.
many also commented that the ending didn't make sense. i think it does. spacey knows that he's used winslet to convey his public AND private message (to his son). it's to assuage his guilt that he sends the tape at the end. how does he know that winslet won't tell all? because she's proven that she can be trusted to respect the confidentiality of her sources: if she won't betray "kiddy porn scum", why would she betray an innocent man?
but even if the public doesn't know the whole truth, won't spacey still be an "anti-captial punishment nuthead" (to paraphrase one reviewer) in winslet's eyes? maybe. and only she would know.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic movie! Will keep you on edge until the very last second!Published 2 days ago by Timothy K. Brinson
The main characters lacked chemistry. It was a slow and predictable
The acting was great! Kevin Spacey is one of my favorite actors. Anything he is in I love but what the movie was about needs to be addressed more. Read morePublished 1 month ago by dmhodges
Good thoughtful movie, though I hate wondering why every movie with a philosopher in it ends up tragic and makes liberal use (pun intended of course) of alcohol and sex. Read morePublished 1 month ago by William S Jamison
Worst performance of Kevin Spaceys career. Awful. Someone should have paid them to NOT make this movie.Published 2 months ago by scott r lawson
This is one of those movies that makes you really think and think and think afterwards. As always, Kevin Spacey is phenomenal!Published 2 months ago by Tammy
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