Long Day's Journey Into Night Reviews
And so what is the theme here? What does it mean? Wellâ?¦who knows? Sometimes a story comes along, expressed in a way that is so enormous, so all-encompassing, that no single theme or meaning can define it. Trying to conclusively characterize it confines something that must afford the greatest extent of whatever a given actor's, or a given viewer's, interpretation. Lumet's approach is not to direct the script, but to let the script direct him. A director who is considered great would've been determined to control it, to put his stamp on it, but true, absolute confidence in the skill of a director is the ability to allow oneself to trust everything and everyone around him. Lumet may have been below the radar compared to his generation's other star "auteurs," but there is no denying his clear and precise sense of economy has produced intense dramatic work.
Usually, the uncertainty in the honorability or detestability of a character acts as the source of exploring each of them in deeper penetration, because a good writer, a good director, a good actor, ideally any given one of us, understands that each person is like us all. But in Long Day's Journey Into Night, no one is like any of us. The characters are on a descending flourish of monumental, disastrous dimension. The story baffles clarification. Do not fight this notion while watching this film. Few movies have required more patience; let it overtake you at its own pace, because the pace is the measure of the dramatic wallop.
The final shot is of Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards and Dean Stockwell sitting around a table, each lost in their own enslaving pipe dreams, a distant lighthouse sweeping its beam across the room periodically, the camera pulling back slowly, the walls steadily disappearing. The family sits in a black oblivion, getting smaller and smaller, and the smaller they get, the larger we realize their impact has been on us.
a full talents director and the rest cast , product a nice film .
Talk about a disfunctional family whose members will waste no opportunity to shoot emotionally poisoned arrows and stab each other with mal deeds of the past.
Almost 3 hrs of constant hurling of hurtful language. Each conversation is a deep dive, introspective look into the character, reveling some vile morsel of their inner self
The acting by Katharine Hepburn is just outstanding. The whole cast (there are just 4 main and 1 minor actors) is just amazing. You don't see movies where EVERY second is filled with dialog and uncut scenes last for 10 minutes or more.
Great directing by Sidney Lumet and the black and white cinematography is great.