Oscar and Lucinda Reviews
In Oscar and Lucinda, it?s easy to see the mistakes. Fearing the (inevitable) backlash from the literary crowd, the filmmakers have opted to include many minor characters, rather than focus their film on major figures (?I can?t believe they forgot the man-servant from chapter seventeen. Barbaric!?). Actors playing characters that ? in any other movie ? would be minor figures are constantly called upon to provide the emotional capital. The emotion thus resonates like a cotton ball dropped on a futon. There isn?t enough time to show us the background psychology, so it all floats to a cushioned touchdown.
Having said that, the title characters are expertly written and played. Both Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett rise to the demands of a subtle and mannered piece, rich in eccentricity. Fiennes, in particular, is a revelation in a part that would surely have been frittered away by Hugh Grant a couple of years earlier. Thank God Ralph came along when he did. This is a better film than most, but there is an inescapable feeling of disappointment. Because with a little more filmic savvy, this could have been as good as 1985?s spectacular Carey adaptation Bliss.