August 13, 2010

The Life of David Gale - 2003

Director: Alan Parker
Writer: Charles Randolph
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney

"No one who looks through that glass sees a person; they see a crime. I'm not David Gale. I'm a murderer and a rapist...four days shy of his execution." This harrowing story follows David Gale (Spacey), a former philosophy professor and member of anti-death penalty organization Deathwatch, as he tells the story of being falsely accused of the rape and murder of colleague Constance Harraway (Linney) to a reporter (Winslet) who is his last-ditch effort at avoiding his last days coming prematurely.

Certain movies exist that I really enjoy 95% of the way through, and then the ending leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Life of David Gale is one of those. Spacey is in top form, Winslet is the most convincing Brit-as-American I've ever seen, and Linney is superb in her emotionally and physically pained role. The plot's very well written, and makes some great points about its controversial subject. There's some wonky cinematography in there as well, but it's nowhere near as off-putting as the revelation that Spacey's character drops on the audience in the last half hour of the film. I can't say any more, but it's one of those moments that makes you want to throw a heavy object at your screen. Overall grade: B

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