The Painter and the Thief
The Half of It
The Vast of Night
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Its hard to like a movie when you think the main character is unlikable, vapid, dull, rash, social-climber, etc.... The girl who has everything handed to her in life and decides to treat ppl like objects and screw up the only thing she had that was really worth anything. What a waste of a life in many ways and naturally given talents. Anyway the movie was interesting n well paced with many twists n turns so that's why I liked it to a degree even tho I couldn't stand the girl. You couldn't predict where the film was headed. Many of the film shots were also good and I liked the varied settings. The only character worse than Diane was Miles a disgusting egotistical pig. I'm not really sure what the message of the film was-a cautionary tale? to tell u things aren't as they seem in the media? a character study?? For this reason the movie kinda moves around aimlessly like Diana and for that reason I can't give it any more stars. Better than French new wave bullshit, but not that much better.
John Schlesinger may be one of my favorite directors what with the brilliant Midnight Cowboy (1969), Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and The Day of the Locust (1975) having been directed by him but this is another classic gem that is a part of his lengthy filmography. Very few films manage to capture a time and a place as accurately as Darling does as the images and the people captured in this film are what your mind immediately jumps to when you imagine the swinging sixties. The film earned deserved critical acclaim too as it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1965 and won Julie Christie her only Best Actress award to come of four nominations in the category.
Spoiled young model Diana Scott, Julie Christie, begins an affair with married television presenter Robert Gold, Dirk Bogarde, despite being married herself and the two soon move in together and plan to divorce their partners. Scott soon becomes bored with her new life however and has an affair with exciting advertising executive Miles Brand, Laurence Harvey, who whisks her off to Paris and helps her advance her career. Gold and Scott break up when he learns of her infidelity and she has a breakdown of sorts but she attempts to rebuild by her life by heading to Rome for a job that Brand has set up for her. While there she catches the attention of older Italian Prince Cesare della Romita, José Luis de Villalonga, who she impetuously marries after becoming disenchanted with her group of friends in London. At the end of the film she finally faces consequences for her actions as she flees from Italy but instead of reconciling with Gold is cruelly punished for what she had done to him earlier in the film and abandoned.
Much like Midnight Cowboy the film uses innovative techniques to show the minutiae of what is occurring in various locations to make larger statements about the shallowness and naiveté of those living in this time period. One of my favorite moments in the film comes when we cut from two wealthy, well dressed sisters sitting on the train discussing inane things to our main character having had an abortion and explaining in voice over why she received this medical treatment in an almost humorous monologue. These people interact with such darkness every day and take actions that you would think would stay with you for life and yet they act like they can just breeze by these events.
Beyond all of the fancy costumes and the obvious physical beauty of the people we watch we realize just how empty their lives are as she spends her days modeling and has so much free time that she can't help engaging in affairs. The carelessness with which she will throw away one man and pick up another betrays a childish view of life as she believes that she will always be able to use men because she is incredibly beautiful and is utterly blindsided when a man finally expresses real anger at her. The very strange party in which Scott and her new friends strip down and then pause to ruthlessly mock one another is another pointed dig at the behavior of these people who can act like there is no tomorrow because they are young, wealthy and beautiful but do not realize that their culture will soon die out and they will be replaced by a new generation of wild, free thinking youths who don't bear wrinkles or unfortunate pasts with older, powerful men.
Christie is another reason to watch the film as she gives her best performance in a role that serves her well giving her the opportunity to show off her ample charm and charisma while also bringing out the layers of a character who can often be downright dislikable. She really stands out in the scenes in which she is being cold and calculating but attempting to appear sweet and likable as always. We can see the manipulative, fickle killer in her eyes but also the girl who is simply deluding herself into believing that she can continue to treat the people around her the way she does. I think that she absolutely earned her Academy Award but I also admit that her competition was not particularly strong as Julie Andrews was unlikely to win a second Academy Award just a year after winning her first and while I love Simone Signoret she does not do her best work in Ship of Fools (1965).
This works as a wonderful companion piece to Midnight Cowboy as while it never gets as dark as some of Schlesinger's later work the film still contains the black humor and piercing commentary that makes Schlesinger such a singular force.
A much funnier, sexier and sunnier version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. But rather than rainy New York this later film is set in Western Europe's coolest locations.
However there is something quite disjointed about this film and Christie's character is so shallow she looses touch with reality. The point of the movie is that her fast materialistic life leaves her unfulfilled by the end and she finishes by hurting herself - but Christie - in her spectacular prime here - has ample opportunities to seek something deeper and more meaningful. But for whatever reason she just hops on to the next bloke.
The whole film is very cool, very sexy, and to me despite criticism pretty modern. But it does not connect enough and Christie's character does not seem realistic enough. Still thought it was cool though.
Under its simple premise is a clever and funny satire of the upper-class.
Julie Christie is phenomenal! The satire is written well. But overall, the film is not easily likable.
John Schlesinger's sleek lensing of Julie Christie in her stunning Oscar-winning performance as a beguiling self-seeking model alludes to a discerning reflection of the vogue scene of the Swinging London.
Yes it is dated, but Julie Christie's performance holds up beautifully. This film is also rarely sited as showing the first positive image of a gay man. Christie's friend, played by Roland Cullum, is far more caring, loyal, intelligent, and certainly NOT the typical pathetic sick victim that films of that day showed gay people to be.
John Schlesinger's Darling offers a complete departure from its competitors in the Oscar race of 1966. Where The Sound of Music had sentimentality, Darling has cynicism. Where A Thousand Clowns had affection, Darling has callousness, and where Doctor Zhivago made its play at romance, Darling opts for the hollow.
The "darling" referred to in the title is Diana Scott (Julie Christie), a young, beautiful model with aspirations of becoming an actress and more importantly a coveted member of Britain's high society. Immersing herself in the swinging 60's promiscuousness of London and the decadence of the rich, Diana feverishly attempts to ascend the social ladder with her sexuality as her key device, becoming entwined with a T.V writer, an advertising executive and an Italian Prince while her husband, apparently too immature to sustain a relationship, is relegated to her mere subconscious. It is fitting that a character that so readily reduces herself to an object in her pursuits is so often assigned a name that renders her indiscernible.
This film is a scathing one. Despite the superficial appeal of Julie Christie's character and the lifestyle she strives for, the film's affection for its central character and her surroundings stops there. Instead what Schlesinger and writer Frederic Raphael (who won an Oscar for his screenplay) strive to do is capture the vacuity of a person who has eyes only for the top rung of the social ladder and the indulgent, ignorant mindset which characterises the folk who stand atop it. Darling is utterly unromantic, utterly contemptuous and makes no attempt to arrest the sympathies, leading it to be both hugely effective in its messages but, by its conclusion, tiresome.
Schlesinger made his directorial name in documentaries, something reflected both in the mechanics of the film and in his ability to get to the truth of his characters. As we see her escapades unfold on screen Diana Scott offers her opinions on her relationships in the form of answers to interview questions, setting the tone for a screenplay loaded with dramatic irony that is complimented perfectly by the transparency Schlesinger brings to the characters. One can see right through Diana, and we're all invited in on the joke that is her pathetic behavioural justifications and amoral clamouring for status. In one scene we are taken inside a charity event for world hunger which is celebrated so decadently and indulgently by Diana and her high societal companions, complete with young African waiters, that it would be hilarious if the immorality and self congratulatory quality of it wasn't so hard to stomach. Much credit should also be given to Christie who won an Oscar for her work here and perfectly captures the pettiness and desperation of her character but also bringing such a vehement belief in her own victimisation which entices viewers to slowly shake their heads in a begrudging pity.
With its amorality and extravagance this film is so full of repugnancy that as a character assessment it is potent, but as a story it grows hard to immerse yourself in. The simple truth of it is these people don't make for very good company. The characters and their lifestyles are so ugly and detestable that even Robert Gold (well played by Dirk Bogarde) who begins genuinely affectionate for Diana succumbs to bitterness and hatred before slipping into unredeemable. Perhaps a greater comedic flare or something with which one could attach their sympathies would be effective in offsetting the deliberate hideousness of the films other features, but as it is at two hours and eight minutes, Darling occasionally slips into becoming a weary indictment, albeit an amazingly effective one.
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Darling is a nice 60's movie, the predecessor of Midnight Cowboy for John Schlesinger.
While it may have stayed in the 60's since its release, Darling is an overall entertaining British satirical drama thanks to Christie's dynamic and shining lead performance