Craig Lucas' hateful Dying Gaul. Plus, Walk the Line never wobbles.

Running thoughts on movies and their makings.
Nov. 18 2005 1:23 PM

The Living Gall

Craig Lucas' hateful Dying Gaul. Plus, Walk the Line never wobbles.

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On the other hand, Walk the Line isn't littered with Freudian biopic signposts. Some of its best moments are wordless feats of conjuring: When the police find drugs in Cash's suitcase, Phoenix's look is defiant, resigned, amused, stricken, sulky, and busted all at once. You see it as a metaphor for his life—as Johnny on the spot. ...

... For anyone in Washington, D.C., in the mood for ethics and a movie, I'll be in town on behalf of my Orthodox rabbi brother's Jewish outreach group. No, no proselytizing—certainly not on my end, anyway. Just a screening (for free) of the good anti-vigilante picture Changing Lanes, featuring Ben Affleck (in probably his best performance) and Samuel L. Jackson as fender-bender avengers. It's at 7 p.m. at the 6th and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I Street, N.W. As longtime readers know (and are maybe sick of) I preach a mean sermon on the subject of righteous violence … 6:20 a.m. PT

David Edelstein is Slate's film critic. You can read his reviews in "Reel Time" and in "Movies." He can be contacted at

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