Friday, December 2, 2011

The People vs. Larry Flynt

Apparently freedom of expression is an oxymoron. For crying out loud, it's in the Constitution. Some freedom.

Such a feeling is expressed in Milos Forman's The People vs. Larry Flynt. If you couldn't tell by the title, it focuses on Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. Flynt is portrayed by Woody Harrelson, a fine actor in his own right. Harrelson, in a fantastic performance, shows the many plights Flynt encountered with his wife Althea (Courtney Love, really effective) and his lawyer Alan Isaacman (Edward Norton, always good).

After Flynt gets shot and paralyzed, he starts to slip into Howard Hughes territory, shown both in and out of the courtroom. But earlier, he shows he's competent. One scene in particular where Flynt gives a speech comparing sex to war. It's one hell of a speech.

The People vs. Larry Flynt reminded me of Bob's Fosse Lenny. Both are about two men who were game changers in regards with the First Amendment. (Larry Flynt with publishing his magazine, Lenny Bruce with his comedy.) Though in a sense, they never wanted to conform to the morals of their times.

The People vs. Larry Flynt shows how expressive one person can be. (Then again, this is directed by the same person who made One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. ) The performances were great, as was the script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. However, I thought it focused too much on some scenes and not enough on others. Still a damn fine film though.

My Rating: ****1/2

1 comment:

  1. This is easily Courtney Love's best performance in a film.

    In an ironic twist, the original poster for the movie was suppressed by the MPAA. It consisted of Harrelson as Flynt in a Christ on the cross pose, wearing only the American Flag diaper from the film, and superimposed over the front of a bikini bottom. IMDB has a version here:


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