Scenic Routes: Jo Van Fleet rules Elia Kazan’s Wild River playing a woman twice her own age

In Scenic Routes, Mike D’Angelo looks at key scenes, explaining how they work and what they mean.

For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been binge-watching The Good Wife, which I’d initially abandoned fairly early in season one. That sort of concentrated immersion in a legal drama can’t help but serve as a primer on methods of argumentation. Over the course of 115 episodes (so far), I’ve seen the attorneys on both sides use just about every trick in the book, and then improvise additional books of their own. Perhaps the only device that doesn’t frequently get employed is reductio ad absurdum, in which a proposition’s truth or falsity is suggested by taking the idea at its core to a deliberately ridiculous extreme. Makes sense, really—it’d be hard to even get started without hearing an immediate objection on the grounds …

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