My Reel of the week is 1991's "Paris Trout" based on the novel of the same name, written by Pete Dexter.
I read the novel about 15 years ago. I was happy to see that the screenplay was written by Mr. Dexter so it retained the vision of the novel. I can't tell you how many times I have read a novel and found the screen adaptation so far removed from the novel as to be totally unrecognizable. A perfect example was the adaptation of Robert Ludlum's "The Bourne Supremacy" I urge all who saw the movie, but did not read the book, to read it. I swear you , it will not bring even a second of deja vu.
Sorry, I digress. Back to "Paris Trout" The story takes place in Cotton Point, Georgia shortly after WWII. The title character is played by Dennis Hopper in what I think is one of his finest performances. He is so convincingly loathsome I found myself giving him a piece of my mind out loud.
Paris runs the General Store in town, which means he pretty much runs the town. One day he goes to the Black part of town to collect a "Debt". He takes the law into his own hands, resulting in the murder of Rosie Sayers (Darnita Henry) a twelve year old .
His wife Hanna (Barbara Hershey) is longing to do the right thing and break free, but is trapped by violence and fear. Harry Seagraves (Ed Harris) is Paris's Attorney. He is fully entrenched in the "Rules" of the South, but battles with the ghost of Rosie and his growing attraction to Paris's wife. The lives of Rosie, Hanna, Harry and Paris collide with Horrific results for all.
This movie haunted me, as did the novel. I can't say it was a "good" movie in the same way as other movies I have reviewed. It's not the kind of movie that you pull out on a Saturday night , when someone says "Let's watch a movie", but that being said I believe this is an important movie.
When I watch a movie dealing with one of America's two Holocaust's (Black Americans & Native Americans), it touches that deep place of anger and pain. It reminds me of how far we have come and how very far we have to go. We need to be constantly reminded, because that is the only was we can move forward.