Cradle Will Rock (1999)

CRADLE WILL ROCK is a fast-talking, fast-paced, and *exceptionally* 
well-stuffed Depression-era drama about the WPA's Federal Theater 
program.  Plot threads range from the efforts of a struggling play-
wright (Hank Azaria) to the adventures of a street girl-turned-stage 
hand (Emily Watson).  Orson Welles (Angus MacFadyen) is a character, 
as is John Houseman (Cary Elwes) and Nelson Rockefeller (John Cu-
sack).  Organized labor also rears its head, as does fascism, com-
munism, and congressional investigations of "un-American" activi-
ties.  All told, maybe a dozen stories.  Maybe more.  And with a 
*ton* of familiar faces.  Too bad the acting styles are so varied.  
Some of the people are played dead-serious; others are mere buffo-
ons.  And the whole thing just spins wildly, bouncing between plot 
points with nary any breathing room in-between.  I left after an 
hour, eyes glazed-over...  With John Turturro, Joan Cusack, Cherry 
Jones, Ruben Blades, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Bill Murray 
looking like his brother Brian Doyle, and MAGNOLIA's Philip Baker 
Hall.  Tim Robbins writes and directs.   (Rated "R"/135 min.)

Grade: W/O

Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: January 24, 2000

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros