The Best Years of Our Lives Reviews
The Best Years of Our Lives is one of the most timely and immediate Best Picture winners in Academy history.
Profoundly and sensitively balances the private demons of scarred veterans and the press of public policies that leave their mark on daily life.This movie is a masterpiece. The writing, the acting, the blending of several stories without being even the least bit choppy, everything about this movie is exceptional. Seven Academy Awards. No wonder, it certainly deserved them. The all star cast Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Harold Russell, Myrna Loy , Virginia Mayo , Teresa Wright , Cathy O'Donnell . Director William Wyler's heartbreaking postwar ballad seems even more radical today than it did in its Oscar-thick heyday. It's as non-propagandistic as an unemployment line.
It's a masterpiece, a combination of a genuinely felt emotional narrative and a microcosm of a country recovering from war.
(Full review TBD)
Films with near 3-hour running times can occasionally inadvertently become tedious and overblown in proportion, but never does Wyler's drama let up, not once did I feel the need to check my watch, I was completely engrossed by it throughout. The film plays as a character study, following our three leads, played brilliantly by a trio of fantastic talent (including a debut from Harold Russell), as they return from service during World War II, each brought together during their short stint on their flight home. The movie then develops into a series of intriguing stories, each connected by our leads, as they face romantic complications, financial struggles and alienation from the people in their hometown.
There was a time when I was completely shocked by what I would call an injustice to 'It's a Wonderful Life' for being "snubbed its win for Best Picture", and whilst I still personally prefer Capra's holiday classic, I am no longer in confusion as to why 'The Best Years of Our Lives' took home its 7 Oscars, it more than deserves the praise it receives. It is an exceptionally well-produced, personal study into the lives of three war veterans trying to adjust to normal life, and one of my new favourite films.