It is fascinating to establish that one is totally lost at the outset of this movie as to what year we are in. Is it 1960 or 1990? One theme in this film is that the past is very much alive and not forgotten in New Orleans. Traditions and ghosts from the past live and haunt us. James Spader provides solid work. In fact this is so far his best performance showing his vulnerable side. The film manages to convey the enigma and secrets of Crescent City. It gives inside information about the sometimes sordid business of politics in Louisiana. Jason Robard is great here. For those who wants to get to know the special way of life in the deep south, this film is a must! Every time I get "home sick" I tend to cling to this film. I have seen it 11 times already. It is sadly underrated. This is not "Star Wars" but for those with a genuine interest in New Orleans, jazz and "mood films" this is a must! This is at least true for the undersigned who is a movie buff with a law degree from Tulane Law School.
Enjoy also the soundtrack with Louis Armstrong and New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra!