Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Verdict. B


'The Virdict,' directed by Sidney Lumet, immediately introduces us to Frank Galvin's (Paul Newman) alcohol dependancy, as in the opening credits we see an extended single shot of him drinking his way through a game of pinball. The shot is quite powerful, as it captures so much of Galvin's depressed character without even a single line of dialogue. Then the real story begins, as the alcoholic lawyer decides to take a case to court not so that he can help other people out, but so that he can find some personal redemption. His argument is that the doctors at a Catholic hospital were incompetent, which resulted in the death of a young woman. The movie doesn't have a great hook as far as the plot goes, but the script from David Mamet (adapted from Barry Reed's novel) is superb and the performances, especially Newman's, give reason to watch the movie alone.

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