The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Though solidly acted and pleasant to look at, Cavalcade lacks cohesion, and sacrifices true emotion for mawkishness.
All Critics (23)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (9)
It is, all in all, a picture that can be highly recommended and commended for its honesty of purpose and its magnificent characterizations, and one that deserves the very best in exploitation to put it over.
A gloriously, heart-rendingly beautiful, stirring picture of a generation in British family life.
It's rife with fey, unintentional camp like the scene in which a newlywed couple pledge eternal love on the deck of an ocean liner -- only to move away and reveal a life preserver labeled Titanic.
Almost certain to be near the top of the list for 1933.
This is the first big film out of the Fox studio since Sheehan's return there and this is a big picture from and on every angle.
Nary a tear-jerking trick is missed (our family loses one son to the Titanic, the other to World War I), and the strangulation is compounded by the staginess since the film.
The unholy joy of war
Despite the old fashioned, mawkish tone, I found the story to have a cumulative effect on me.
I can only glean that Cavalcade's obscurity is owed largely to the fact that it's just not that great a movie.
Critics at the time loved this rather sanctimonious jaunt through history. Seen from the vantage point of post-Second World War egalitarianism, however, it all appears quaint and riddled with accepted class differences.
It's hard not to see Cavalcade today as a corny contraption... [Blu-ray]
As drama it gets a little too soapy and the jumps in time can seem abrupt, but "Cavalcade" really does convey a sense of history and historical periods.
Almost no one remembers the film today. Still, it's noteworthy to be reminded that sometimes, yesterday's news is worth looking at again.
Cavalcade tells the "Upstairs/Downstairs"-style story of two British families across the years from December 31, 1899 to December 31, 1932. The "Upstairs" clan members are the Marryots: father Sir Robert (Clive Brook), mother Lady Jane (Diana Wynyard), and sons Edward (John Warburton) and Joe (Frank Lawton). The "Downstairs" family consists of manservant Alfred Bridges (Herbert Mundin), his wife, maid Ellen (Una O'Connor), and their daughter, Fanny (Ursula Jeans). It is a tale of joy and woe, chiefly concerned with the experiences of Robert Marryot and his wife, Jane, and embracing what happens to their children and their servants.
As the movie opens, both Robert and Alfred are preparing to fight in the Second Boer war. Both distinguish themselves in combat. Upon their return, Robert is knighted and Alfred is able to leave service and set himself up as the owner and operator of a London pub.
Albeit there are simply too many characters to keep track, yet just give a film a chance by watching it more than once is the way to go. And while there's a certain reactionary quality to some of the film's material, the movie's overriding thrust is very effectively anti-war.
The story is more concerned with the potential of death than it is with actual tragedy - how those left behind live in a constant state of anxiety, never knowing if their loved one is going to appear on a casualty list. (One of the most moving scenes occurs when Jane and Ellen go to a central location to read the names of the latest dead and wounded soldiers.) The movie also touches upon the common theme of how wasteful and irrational war is - it is referred to as a way for men to earn their stripes and for nations to flex their muscles.
Inasmuch as modern audiences have often found the film stilted and overacted, one critic reckons that when seen today, Cavalcade is best viewed from a historical perspective.
Panarama of a family over many years is not a bad film but certainly not deserving of a Best Picture Oscar.
Boring! If they wanted to tell the audience what life was like at the beginning of the 20th century without an entertaining story, they should have made a documentary.
The version that I assume is the best copy available was so poorly preserved and takes the viewer out of the story. I never got into it.
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