Julie Christie plays social climbing Diana Scott, very beautiful and spoiled and used to getting her own way. Not the most likeable character, she goes through the film using and manipulating men to further her career and get her standing in life. Well, it makes a change from men using women, I guess. I would imagine this film would have been controversial in it's time.
There's a lot of sex in this, though none of it graphic, or particularly shocking, although I guess the swingers parties are meant to be. (Tame by todays standards!).
By the time the movie ends, she has increased her status no end, but she is miserable, and I guess you could say got what she deserved, although I did feel some sympathy for her, then felt like a mug for feeling so, as she was obviously just putting on the crocodile tears.
Fuck this broad and her assholish inability to just be content with having everything that would make a normal person happy.
Pass, unless you're an amoral opportunist, in which case this is like a masterclass on how to get ahead in life.
‚Being happy should be the easiest thing in the world, isn‚(TM)t it?‚?, the central line underlies the tenor of the film, which starts as a commonplace love affair, after a struggle of hunger for fame and dismay of boredom, the girl eventually becomes the wife of a Italian prince, but the lush life doesn‚(TM)t complete her emptiness inside, her rueful aftermath has been a role model example of modern relationship-disillusion symptom.
The original score from John Dankworth is additionally excellent, balances the rollercoaster adventures and is captivating alongside Christie‚(TM)s gallant performance, who is the sole nucleus of the film and consistently sterling in every scene and literally she is in every scene, Bogarde and Harvey are two prisms reflecting two vastly different desirabilities of men, both mesmerizing and realistic (as my first encounter with Laurence Harvey, his amoral womanizer representative is so dazzling and charismatic).
There is a self-destruction undercurrent influences the entire film, maybe the specie of woman is notable for her instability and bewilderment of what her wants, while men are more predominantly clear about their limitations and their preys, which sounds plausible for me, and one cannot help feeling sympathy towards our leading lady‚(TM)s quandary, which could be tons of women peers‚(TM) pipe dream, a princess in Italy, what a killing temptation, plus Jos√ (C) Luis de Vilallonga is a decent and young-looking widower in the film, so one might wonder how many white flags will he receive facing all the female viewers, who might grudgingly slam Christie‚(TM)s fickle nature, but the truth is one cannot literally live in other person‚(TM)s shoes, especially if she is a woman. So the film renders us a marvelous answer, she has only herself to thank for her predicament.
Frederick Raphael, who also won an Oscar for his work, wrote a story and script that is the basis of what makes this a riveting film to watch. Every scene makes sense, and every phrase has a purpose; there is not a single word that does not belong, or is unnecessary.
It is wonderfully photographed in a very crisp black and white by Ken Higgins, and has an unobtrusive but lovely score by John Dankworth.
Director John Schlesinger brings out the best in even the bit players, and most of all, from Dirk Bogarde, who gives a heartbreaking, brilliant performance as one of Diana's stepping stones. Laurence Harvey plays a vain and vile character with the snakelike coldness he is so good at, and of course, Christie is in her prime, and her beauty and talent shine bright.
Though the atmoshpere of the film is caught in the '60s, the story and characters are timeless; this film deserves to be viewed, for its tremendous performances, and as a portrait of how times change, but much of humanity stays the same, and selfish desires, even when satisfied, are but clanging brass.