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Movie Review: Cradle Will Rock

Story: Tim Robbins (writer and director) is my new hero. What a nice Hannukah present for moi. He hit my two big buttons ... art and politics (in case you haven't picked up those subtleties from my previous reviews). This movie is a swirling mural of images and ideas based in the 1930's that frighteningly echoes today's current events - can you say Guiliani and the Brooklyn Museum? I admit to applauding at the end of the film and almost cried out Power to the people! - Okay, so I liked the film. Although it is a bit cartoonish and simplistic at times and he definitely shmooshes time frames and events but I stayed riveted to the superb storytelling and multi-layered occurrences.

Acting: The acting definitely takes a back seat to the story. It has an ensemble cast that needs no introduction. John Turturro (always good), Susan Sarandon (always good), Emily Watson (always good), John and Joan Cusack (always good twice), Ruben Blades (always good), Vanessa Redgrave (always good, but I hate her politics), Bill Murray (usually good), and Hank Azaria (husband of Helen Hunt, Murray's dog walker, Godzilla) shows great promise and a large terrific supporting cast.

Visual Art: Everywhere! One of the central themes is Diego Rivera's since destroyed mural at Rockefeller Center. There are paintings everywhere. They are reproductions, but they play a big part. And there is talk of art and artists throughout. There is the implied reason for the creation of the Museum of Modern Art as well.....that there be a place to house giant collections done by artists without political opinions who could be controlled.

Pets: None

Sappy Factor: Basically a true story so it is not applicable

Quirky Meter: 2

Length: 12 minutes over the 2 hour rule - but because there was so much art and it was a message movie (with a message I liked) I did not deduct points.