anybody else see this thing? is it really that bad?
SXSW 2000 Film Festival and Conference
BY MARC SAVLOV
March 24, 2000:
Steal This Movie!
Dir/Co-Prod: Robert Greenwald; Scr: Bruce Graham; Exec Prod: Jon Avnet;
Co-Prod: Robert Greenwald, Jake Rose, Liz Selzer; DP: Dennis Lenoir; Ed:
Kimberley Ray; Cast:
Vincent D'Onofrio, Janeane Garofalo, Kevin Pollak, Jeanne Tripplehorn,
Kevin Corrigan, Donal Logue, Troy Garrity.
35mm, 103 min., 2000
Greenwald's Abbie Hoffman biopic has a pretty wishful title:
Overwrought and cluttered as it is, it's unlikely anyone's going to enjoy
it, much less make plans to take a copy home with them.
D'Onofrio is fine as the Yippie-founding Sixties radical, but the
script jumps around from Hoffman's wild salad days with the
Chicago Seven and co-conspirators Jerry Rubin (Kevin Corrigan)
and Tom Hayden (Troy Garity) to his increasingly paranoid
wanderings during the 1970s to his final, lonely suicide. Garofalo
takes a stab at a non-comedic role for a change, and as Hoffman's
wife, Anita, she brings a touch of maudlin feminism to the role.
Clearly, it's not her forte, and the pedantic script doesn't do her any
favors either. The film posits Hoffman as the perpetually
beleaguered underdog of the movement, a countercultural hero
made all the more heroic by the fact that in the end he was alone
and unsupported by his original allies, who had since gone on to
somewhat more respectable avenues. Hoffman's actions and
subversive theatrics are undercut by the film's muddled need to
explain every facet of his mindset, when, of course, one of the most
interesting things about the Sixties counterculture was how no one
really ever knew what was going to happen next. With Steal this
Movie!, you not only know what's going to happen, you're already
wincing at how trite it all seems.
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