Picks and Pans Review: Brave New World
Show of the week
Man, that Aldous Huxley was a prophet. Watching this TV adaptation of his novel Brave New World—published in 1932 and set 600 years into the future—we're impressed by how much of his vision came true ahead of schedule. Ubiquitous TV, virtual reality, obsessive consumerism fostered by relentless advertising—yeah, we've got that. Of course, Huxley didn't bat a thousand. In his book and in this film, the government promotes promiscuity as a civic duty (AIDS, anyone?). And some of the character names—Bernard Marx, Lenina Crowne—don't seem like cutting-edge political humor anymore.
The plot concerns a psychology researcher (Peter Gallagher) who journeys from the Utopian city to a remote reservation and brings back a Shakespeare-spouting "savage" (Tim Guinee) for observation. (New Worlders know naught of the Bard.) Guinee is less than convincing, and the script could be more coherent, but the edgy visual style of directors Leslie Lib-man and Larry Williams (Homicide: Life on the Street and HBO's 1997 Path to Paradise), honed in hundreds of commercials, suits this material almost too well. The cast standout is Leonard Nimoy as an avuncular dictator who looks marvelous in an orange Nehru jacket.
Bottom Line: Brave attempt
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