I remember seeing this film in theatres when I was in college and being completely blown away by it. I watched it again with my mother a few years later, but I don’t think I’d seen it in close to five years before rewatching it last night. I forgot how simple and elegantly orchestrated it is. It’s an ensemble, but you never get lost in a sea of characters, nor do you truly get invested in most of them. I don’t mean that as an insult, though. The ensemble works as one to fight the system and topple Senator McCarthy with his own words (more on that later). The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, though it didn’t win any: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor David Strathairn, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Munich and winner Crash.
Audrey ‘Lulu’ Hankel: Charlie, what do you do for fun besides steal candy bars?
Charlie Driggs: You were right.
Audrey ‘Lulu’ Hankel: I was?
Charlie Driggs: Yeah. I’m a rebel. I am! I just channelled my rebellion into the mainstream. That’s all. [beat] I’ll give you an example. In ’81, I went long-term munis. Everybody said “Driggs, you’re crazy, don’t do it.”
Audrey ‘Lulu’ Hankel: Munis?
Charlie Driggs: Municipal bonds. Tax-free. Hell, I was locking in close to 15%. I may look straight, but deep down, I got what it takes.