The sheer bludgeoning, blood-spilling, visceral energy of its Omaha Beach, D-Day-landing opening act ensured that Spielberg’s fourth World War II movie set the usual for all future battle depictions. Its shaky-staccato-desaturated type (courtesy of Janusz Kaminski’s ingenious cinematography) — newsreel made cinema — has been oft-copied, but hardly ever bettered. Juries most often quantity to little greater than set dressing in courtroom dramas.
But Sidney Lumet’s film finds all its drama outside the courtroom itself and inside a jury deliberation room full of unbelievable character actors, who’re pressured to re-study a seemingly simple case by lone-voice juror Henry Fonda. It’s all concerning the value of looking at issues in a different way, and a reminder that nothing is extra essential than nice dialogue. Which is a brilliantly weird, spherical-the-homes way of reminding us that heartbreak should be valued as one of the issues that makes us. If America had been … Read More