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The Life of David Gale

Continuing the trend of under appreciated films in the movie wall, this is one I'd originally gotten out of a bargain bin. I was still in the phase of trying to build my DVD collection as fast as possible, consuming everything I could get my hands on. Oh, who am I kidding, I'm still sorta in that phase. I only saw this once, ten years ago or so, but there were some images and ideas that just stayed with me.

Kevin Spacey is David Gale, a convicted murderer awaiting his execution. He sets up a series of interviews with reporter Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslett) during his final days, during which he recounts the events that led to his current situation. But he doesn't give her everything. Bitsey does some investigating on her own and finds out there's a deeper story beneath the surface. What really happened to the victim Constance (Laura Linney), and did hers and David's activism against the death penalty play a role?

I'm telling you now, this is not an easy movie to sit thru. It's heavy, like a weight right in the chest. It's incredible though. One of those movies that really makes you think and question your beliefs, while at the same time giving you a suspenseful rollercoaster of plot twists and turns. Anchored by a fantastic cast with tragically overlooked performances. Oh besides the ones previously mentioned, we've also got a then unknown Melissa McCarthy as the goth girl who now occupies the "murder house" turned museum. Her two scenes alone were worth the re-watch.

Oh man, I had a vague memory of how it all played out, but I'm still feeling haunted by this. Kinda sad this one isn't better known. The nondescript title may have something to do with that. Doesn't really tell you anything about the film, although it certainly has meaning within the movie's context. We're really dealing more with the death of David Gale, or at least the events presumably leading up to it. Interesting that it would be named for his life.
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