Monday, June 21, 2010

Movie of the Week - Cradle Will Rock

This week’s movie is Cradle Will Rock (1999).

The film is about politics and art in 1930s America, focused around a liberal musical drama and the attempts to stop its production. Directed by Tim Robbins (its sort of a follow-up to Bob Roberts thematically), the film is a mix between comedy and drama with musical numbers. What makes this film great is its cast and scope. There are wonderful performances throughout, but the film is highlighted by Angus Macfadyen’s Orson Welles and Cary Elwes’s John Houseman constantly arguing. John Cusack plays Nelson Rockefeller, Ruben Blades as Diego Rivera and many other fine performances capture real people (check out the full credits), while there are also fictional characters, like Bill Murray’s vaudevillian ventriloquist, coming to the realization that his era is ending – mirroring industrialist capitalists facing the advent of unions. The scope of the film is vast, encompassing the mood on multiple levels of the time period. The film also features great numbers from the musical it is centered by, along with original music from David Robbins and wonderful cinematography by Jean-Yves Escoffier. For those interested in the period, it is a must see. Check out the trailer.

Cradle Will Rock [DVD]

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