Oct 17, 2006
Steve Zaillian’s adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s 1946 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel All the King’s Men, about the making of a demagogue—modeled on Louisiana governor (and later senator) Huey Long—is languid, undramatic and shapeless. Zaillian has a talent for streamlining big, incident-filled books. He wrote the screenplay for Schindler’s List and both wrote and directed A Civil Action. But in this case his love for the novel seems to have done him in.
"What keeps you up at night?” I asked the African cardinal at the end of a leisurely lunch near his home. Our conversation had ranged across a variety of topics: the scourge of AIDS in Africa, ineffective leadership within the churches, the character of theological education in our respective contexts, and our own calls to ministry. The cardinal has a reputation as a highly effective leader, and I admire his insights as well as the grace and character he embodies. He has big dreams, yet very few resources with which to work. I wondered which of these challenges he struggled with most.