Although I like Forman, Harrelson, and Norton (and both of the actors are pretty good in this movie), I didn't feel the magic. Maybe it's the unlikable nature of the main character, maybe it's the tacky "commentary" on the First Amendment, I do not know. But what I do know is that I expected a bit better than what I saw.
This is the best film I ever seen about the scope and importance of the First Amendment. It's not just because of the great points it makes about freedom and "morality," but also because (like "A Clockwork Orange") it challenges the audience with a protagonist that is, more times than not, hard to sympathize with. Freedom of expression is absolutely vital, even if we disagree with those expressions.
This is an extraordinary picture that features knockout performances from Harrelson, Love, and Norton. Forman crafts a brilliant portrayal of one man's struggle to fight for every individual's right to say whatever the fuck they want to say and that freedom of speech should not be one sided.
Flynt is probably the least charismatic, most vulgar of the Forman freedom heroes that I've seen (although Mozart was portrayed (accurately?) as a juvenile prick). but, douchy as i may find him (and this film doesn't shy away from showing how ugly he can be (then again, see current leader of the "free" world) the constitution is an important thing .it IS America...remains to be seen (not wordplay) if it will keep...
It's ripe. At worst, the beats play out like a made for TV movie. At it's most ordinary it's a blindly one sided polemic on a popular cause that few will take issue with against the easy targets of fat, white republican men; and at best, a demonstration of the quiet, subtle talents of Woody Harrelson who is a far better actor than he'll get credit for.
Should be far more famous. Courtney Love is as obnoxious and jarring to watch as you'd expect, but Harrelson gives easily the performance of his entire career as the 'smut peddler' Flynt. It has a solid story, music and cinematography. All in all, engaging and certainly a little diamond in the rough. Watch!
An overall good film no doubt although somehow it feels clunky in parts with most performances from secondary actors wooden and ill-directed. Equally some of the key plot elements - the early growth of Hustler or the first trial, for instance - feel lacking in momentum. Considering Forman's previous masterpieces, there's lacking in attention to detail albeit Herrelson's stellar performance.