Woody Harrelson stars in Milos Forman's acclaimed biopic of Larry Flynt, the controversy-courting founder of the Hustler porn empire who became an unexpected champion of free speech. In arguably his best performance, Harrelson manages to make the somewhat sleazy Flynt a constantly engaging presence, even when confined to a wheelchair after taking a bullet for his beliefs. Grunge queen Courtney Love is also a revelation as Larry's tragic wife while Edward Norton puts a respectable face on matters as his overworked lawyer.
Larry Flynt, who started off as a strip club owner, went from strength to strength, getting up the noses of almost everyone on the way.
Harrelson and director Milos Forman successfully tread a fine line here. While perhaps disapproving of what Flynt does, in his battles with the courts and the anti-pornographers, you find yourself on his side in his fight for the right to do it.
Harrelson is spot-on as Flynt and Edward Norton is also excellent as his much put-upon lawyer.
"I'm your dream client," says Flynt. "I'm fun, I'm rich and I'm always in trouble!"
Another revelation is grunge rocker Courtney Love, who turns in a strong performance as Flynt's tragic girlfriend.