The Woo Woo Kid

Movies
The beguiling true-life case of Sonny Wisecarver - who, aged 14, married two married women in their twenties in the dog days of World War II, and shared tabloid covers with Hitler and D-Day - was a moment's monument, and a perfect vehicle for the likes of Jonathan Demme. In Robinson's hands, it is sometimes crude, sometimes wonderfully small-print human, bailed out by the gravitational pull of documentary truth, and generally worth a look. The soundtrack alone is sharp enough to sell the movie to blind swing band fans. For Sonny (Dempsey) it was always true love, though the ladies suffer the strictures of the law for corrupting a minor. Sonny is played adenoidally open-mouthed and innocently goodhearted, and both wives (Balsam, D'Angelo) are experienced but achingly vulnerable. The movie, validly, doesn't take a stance, but plays a cheeky catch-as-catch-can between tethered fact and sometimes surreal guesswork. Nice little film.

By: BC

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