Taking as his basic text an unattributed line from Faulkner (The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past), Mark Frost, David Lynch’s coproducer on Twin Peaks, goes for baroque in his first featurea slow-moving murder mystery set in New Orleans involving a powerful local family that includes a congressional candidate (James Spader) and his wily uncle (Jason Robards). Adapted by Frost and Lee Reynolds from the novel Juryman by Frank Galbally and Robert Macklin, this is handsome to look at, likably acted, and with a good sense of local color, but very difficult to follow in terms of plot and arguably not always worth the botherthough it’s certainly a better movie than Twin Peaks. With Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, Charlotte Lewis, Michael Warren, Michael Parks, and a striking cameo by John Ford veteran Woody Strode. (JR)

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