"Strategy Brings Fresh Approach To Courtroom Genre"
A Civil Action (*** Ĺ) - Iíve been getting tremendous heat from friends of mine for really liking this picture. One of the reasons I liked it so much was because not only was it a fascinating story, expertly told, but that it took a fresh approach to the age-old courtroom picture. Here is a film not interested in the surprise twists of other courtroom movies, but focuses on the strategy of the law.And the court case really plays like a subplot for what the real meat of this story is and that is the Travolta character and his law firm. Following the financial pattern that one lawsuit has on a small, but rich law firm, hooked me big time. The movie also gained strength throughout its running time. My favorite sequence involves a montage of minor segments of the actual trial mixed with Robert Duvall teaching his Harvard class - itís a wonderfully edited piece of film - and so is the film as a whole. Iíd like to see an editing nomination on Feb. 9. And the performances are first-rate too. Duvall is a shoo-in for an Oscar nod with his eccentric yet brilliant lawyer. And Iím really hoping to see Travolta pull up a nod for either this or Primary Colors. William H. Macy has a few nice moments as well and hopefully this will put him in line for an Oscar nod too for either this or Pleasantville.The key to this whole movie lies in its final line - a question - one which Travolta handles beautiful. A lot of people Iíve seen the film with havenít liked it as much as I have, citing other courtroom movies as a lot better. There have been better, but we havenít been able to call one fresh in a long time. And thatís why I liked it so much.