Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Director: Clint Eastwood
Year Released: 1997
Rating: 2.0

Town & Country Magazine sends writer John Kelso (John Cusack) to Savannah to report on a lavish Christmas party thrown by antiques dealer Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey), but later that night Williams gets into an argument with his drug-addicted "employee" Billy Hanson (Jude Law), shoots him (claiming "self-defense") and is imprisoned ... so Kelso sticks around, interviewing the residents and starting up a relationship with shopkeeper Mandy Nichols (Alison Eastwood).  It's based on the incredibly successful "non-fiction novel" by John Berendt (which spent 216 weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller list) and although director Eastwood is clearly enthralled with the colorful locals - including a man who walks an invisible dog, another fellow who attaches live flies to his lapels, voodoo practitioner Minerva (Irma P. Hall) and nightclub entertainer The Lady Chablis (as herself) - the movie itself is a slog, as Clint can't make much out of either the courtroom scenes or the "romantic subplot": it required more of a surrealist's "touch."  For the staunchly Republican auteur, it does show he has genuine respect for the LGBTQ+ community: see right-wingers, having empathy for people who are "different" isn't an impossible task.