Invited to enjoy some southern hospitality at a lavish Christmas party, ‘Town & Country’ columnist John Kelso (John Cusack) has arrived in Savannah in the courtroom thriller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. John will write a feature on host Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey), an elegant Southern gentleman who is a semi-closeted art collector and antiques dealer. John is intrigued by Jim when they meet but is very wary of his younger lover Billy Hanson (Jude Law), an alcoholic and drug abuser with an unpredictable temper. Later that night, Billy is found dead on the floor of Jim’s office. John remains in Savannah as a star witness and to cover the murder trial which Jim stands accused of.
Along the way John encounters the irrepressible Lady Chablis who plays herself in the film; Sonny Seiler (Jack Thompson) lawyer to Williams, whose famous dog UGA is the official mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs, an odd man who keeps flies attached to mini leashes on his lapels and threatens daily to poison the water supply; the Married Ladies Card Club; and Minerva (Irma P. Hall) a voodoo priestess, who casts hexes against the judge and prosecuting attorneys.
Between being Jim’s buddy, cuddling up to a torch singer, meeting every eccentric in Savannah, participating in midnight graveyard rituals, and helping solve the mysteries surrounding Billy’s murder, John has his hands full.
“A wholly original creation, crossed with shadows and light and the everyday madness of Savannah and its remarkable citizens.”
— Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
“Kevin Spacey gives a richly nuanced performance as the accused killer, and director Clint Eastwood makes the sometimes sordid story less sensationalistic than it might have seemed in less accomplished hands.”
— David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
“Elegantly directed and beautifully performed, Eastwood’s film of John Berendt’s non-fiction best-seller is a warm, witty, consistently intriguing character study.”
Did You Know?
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is based on the non-fiction book written by John Berendt, based upon real-life events which took place in the 1980s. The real life Sonny Seiler plays Judge White, the presiding judge at the trial. Review our Gay Themed Films Here