11.22.63 movie full length review - Excellent Acting...Strayed from King, but...
I'm sure it was said over and over and needs to be stated that this really departed from King's mammoth novel. At first it bugged me, but the acting was so good I overlooked the details.
If you have not read King's book, you will never know, so go and read the book. It's huge, I know, but well worth it. You will forget the TV show quickly. King goes into extreme details. For instance, during the dance scene, I can see in my mind King's scene over the show. At time, he dives in too deep, but he is so good you roll with it.
The going back in time thing really got me after reading the book. I went to the library and found every book I could on time travel backwards, but within a 100 or so years. Not many. Rewind was the best. I wish they got more into this transition with Franco's character. He seemed to adjust too quickly. Would have been a nice theme throughout.
The acting was really excellent. Let's talk about; Mr Chris Cooper. When we talk great actors today, Cooper doesn't top the list but should. Dude's intense! Can anyone play the harsh father role better? He just nails every one of his scenes.
Leon Rippy as Harry Dunning was powerful. Again, a great actor provides instant believable integrity in the character they play. Not for a second did I not get consumed with who this man was. Very tough scene he had to do to set the tone. In the book, King goes into so much detail you wonder what in the world this has to do with JFK. Just wait...it pays off! Tonya Pinkins as Ms Mimi was such a strong character to portray. She had such dignity to her role.
Sarah Gadon as Sadie was just hot. At first she was too pretty. Just happened to wander into a small town and work in high school. Every boy at the school would have been gaga. She gave a great Texan accent and had strong chemistry with Franco. There was some real touching scenes they did together on this show. Another license the producers took was her scar, in the book it is portrayed much more vicious.
Nick Searcy as Deke was probably the best casting according to the book. Just nailed this character in every way! Daniel Webster as LHOwald at first threw me. Couldn't they get a more look-alike actor? Then he played the role with such conviction. The scene in the FBI office proved that great acting trumps the visual match.
George Mackay as Bill really held his own with Franco. (spoiler alert) There is no Bill in King's novel. This was the major mental block at first for me. That is tough for an actor because he/she needs to overcome this reaction, "What..." when you invest so much in reading a book.
Josh Duhamel as Frank Dunning fit King's description pretty well. WOuld have liked the writers to throw more "king of the party" energy in with his joke telling and charisma, but Duhamel did the best he could with the script given.
Gil Bellows...great to see him! Why is he not on a TV show? Bellows is money always and we all know him from Shawshank Redemption.
James Franco did a good job. He carried the show and his aloof personality fit this character well. Don't reveal too much inside. Perfect match.