I don’t know how we missed SALVATION BOULEVARD when it came out this summer – but was surely glad we found it in a hotel room this week. Filmmaker George Ratliff offers up a dark comedy exploring the modern day phenomenon of mega churches. It’s clear from reading the reviews of others that many didn’t get as big a kick out of the plot of this one as I did…but what we all agree on is that the cast is not only amazing, but individually and collectively they shine brighter than the sun. In fact, I think that it is for one and all one of the highlight performances of an already stellar career. And that’s a lot to say of a cast that includes, among others, Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ciáran Hinds and Jennifer Connelley.
They are clearly having the best time of their lives doing this film. We’ve seen each and every one of these stars in other films. We know that each is brilliant and can be pretty darned funny. BUT it is one thing to be funny. It is another to have fun while doing a project – so much fun that it spills over into your performance. So much so that each performance sparkles with delight.
What can attorneys learn from this?
Clearly George Ratliff, when he was directing this show, made the set a pleasure. Each actor was given just what she or he needed in order to feel confident, secure, and free to simply have a blast. Take it as far as possible while keeping it real. Allow each individual to soar – and thereby – making the whole even greater than the sum of its parts.
How often have I worked on trial teams that operated just this way? Always when I have this experience there is a leader at the helm who truly wants each member to shine, and fosters an atmosphere that allows “magic” to happen. Is there a greater joy or pleasure?
As you watch this film, the “best work” of everyone is clearly evident. It is as good a measure of leadership for any trial lawyer as I have seen in a film recently. Oh – and enjoy!
TIP: Are you getting sparkling performances from your trial team?