A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Local Movie Review-A Civil Action

A Civil Action was filmed partly in Palmer. Palmer could be a smaller version of Woburn, where the environmental damage took place. The Town of Palmer had its share of factories and mills that are now gone.

The Palmer scenes were of John Travolta looking at the Quaboag River from his Porsche and having a legal epiphany that there is a case that can make some money.

Not to beat the drum for local movie making.... Well, yes, I do want to beat that drum as often as possible. Palmer and all the towns here are good venues for movie makers. If cost is a problem, here is where we can contain that. They are building studios in Plymouth and maybe South Weymouth. If you want to do a scene outside the studio, there is much congestion to deal with that is not as big a problem here. Yes, it’s quiet, but if you are desperate for congestion, we’ll all get in our cars and give you that as well.

Palmer is strategically situated with a Mass Pike entrance.

I got the movie out of the library specifically for the Palmer footage. Even so, I enjoyed it. Travolta did well as the cocky Jan Schlichtmann. Jan is a personal injury lawyer who oozes sleaze at the beginning of the film. As the Woburn case proceeds, it takes over his personal and professional life. Financially sinks his small firm and sends him to bankruptcy court.

Schlichtmann never attains a happy medium. It is a study in hubris. He is today idealistically engaged in environmental law. One hopes he has reflected more than portrayed in the movie.

America’s most famous gangster, James Gandolfini, played a local working class guy who refuses to go along with his employer’s coverup of the pollution. Doesn’t do a bad job playing someone from North of Boston.

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