Life of David Gale (The)

Life of David Gale (The)
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Life of David Gale (The)
États-Unis, 2002
De Alan Parker
Scénario : Charles Randolph
Avec : Laura Linney, Rhona Mitra, Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet
Durée : 2h12
Sortie : 01/01/2002
Note FilmDeCulte : ***---

A college professor and anti-death penalty activist is himself condemned to death for the rape and murder of a young woman. A journalist investigates his case.


What’s making Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet) go forward at the beginning of The Life of David Gale ? Is she running away from a judiciary system that puts people to death ? Or is she rushing hopelessly to find out the truth ? After the first questioning during the intriguing opening scene of the film, it’s in fact Alan Parker’s motivations that become the movie’s real mystery. What’s making Alan Parker go forward ? After cruising through the 70s and 80s with a bunch of cult hits, his career slowly dwindled after 1991’s The Commitments. Angela’s Ashes’s commercial failure put his fragile status on hold. The Life of David Gale is an hesitant and unsure of itself comeback. Is it an anti-death penalty pamphlet or a suspenseful thriller ? A little bit of both, apparently.

Half-failure and semi-success: Parker’s new movie is frustrating because it’s unfinished. It asks interesting questions (how far can you go for a cause ? where’s the bordure between engagement and fanaticism ?). But they are never very well treated by a script that’s way too adventurous in its last part to be completely convincing. Parker’s directing lacks subtlety and gives the whole the feeling of heavy-handedness. Though being a little vulgar, the spectacle is entertaining enough to keep your attention going for 130 minutes. The actors have their part in making the picture enjoyable: Laura Linney is excellent as an anti-death penalty militant and Kate Winslet shows once and for all that her sole presence can transcend a rather uninteresting character. Hopefully, The Life of David Gale isn’t the sappy death penalty movie one could have expected, but it’s nonetheless a rather banal thriller by moments: efficient, but not subtle.

par Nicolas Bardot

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