The Big Brass Ring (1999)

GEORGE HICKENLOOPER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1999.  Millennium Films, Pfilmco.  Screenplay by , George Hickenlooper, based on an earlier screenplay by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Orson Welles’ previously unfilmed script is resurrected by George Hickenlooper, who applies his mundane talents for an uninspiring screen experience.  William Hurt is a presidential hopeful whose increasing popularity is countered with some very unfortunate skeletons in his closet: an old friend (Nigel Hawthorne) contacts an eager journalist () and tells him that Hurt has some dirty sexual secrets that he would much rather keep in the past. Meanwhile, Hurt’s marriage to a woman (Miranda Richardson), upon whose wealthy coattails his career has been riding, becomes increasingly brittle with the strain being put on them by this crisis. It’s wonderful to see the work of this great artist finally see the light of the day after having been hidden for so long, but Hickenlooper has no flair for the wildly dramatic and the experience is quite dull, save for a scene-chewing performance by the always reliable Richardson.

Toronto International Film Festival:  1999

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