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For its nearly three hour long run time, I thought to myself one thing, "WHEN WILL IT END?!?!". But shutting up my impatient side, I was able to see that it was matched, with magnificent work from the camera and it's three leads (Streep, Redford and Brandauer)
Out of Africa is a film that lovingly depicts all the scenery and wildlife in the “Dark Continent.” It is truly beautiful, and you can see how the main character grows such fondness for the region and the people living in it. It almost has a documentary feel to certain sections, and I admire the work they put into capturing that feeling. I suppose all the great settings are also the reason that the handful of scenes they do with horrible green screen or rear projection stand out so much. Of course, filmmakers of that time didn’t know decades later we’d be watching the footage in high definition and see the seams on those effects so obviously. It’s a minor complaint in a movie that has so many good shots, but I did notice it. However, despite the grand scope, the story in the film is actually a modest one about a woman who has found her place in Africa. She endures many trials along the way, and also engages in a romance. I liked the pairing of Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in Out of Africa, because they had some chemistry and both created strong independent characters who have a reluctance to even begin a courtship. I wish it had been a bit more romantic at times, but with tough people like this you take what you can get. Streep does an admirable job holding her accent through the whole film, even though there were times when it seemed like she was trying much harder than others. Perhaps the most uncomfortable I was with this movie was when Redford tried to affect a British accent. Thankfully it was rare, but it was terrible every time. The whole of Out of Africa was OK, but never quite blew me away. I always felt like it was a really well-made TV movie, or something I’d watch in school. The story seemed familiar, and therefore a little bland. I think the performances, visuals, and the score elevate it, but I value story so much more.
Meryls great. Very slow pace
it should starts at 7:00 pm
This is an epic romance set against the backdrop of Kenya in the 1910s, in other words it's catnip for a person like me. I love Meryl Streep and Robert Redford and seeing them together is a joyous experience as her talents at conveying the sensitivity of regular woman and his undeniable charisma create a grand romance that is utterly engrossing. Sydney Pollack isn't always my favorite director, I don't like The Electric Horseman (1979),but he does a great job here at capturing the scope of the landscape and tender, romantic moments between the two leads. Unlike other Best Picture winning epics that I have watched I was completely engaged throughout this film and I found that I really understood the main character and her struggles, I was touched and that doesn't happen often when watching films.
Karen Dinesen, Meryl Streep, enters into a marriage of convenience with Bror Blixen, Klaus Maria Brandauer, and moves to Kenya to establish a cattle farm. She encounters sexism and Bror's apathy when she arrives and discovers that the farm will instead be used for coffee planting. A mutual attraction develops between Karen and American big game hunter Denys Finch Hatton, Robert Redford, which is spurred on after Bror gives Karen syphilis and continues to have affairs with other women. When Bror moves out the two consummate their affair and begin living together but Deny's refusal to fully commit to her and her determination to help the Kyuki people keep the farm divides them.
For a film that is 2 hours and 40 minutes long to be interesting you need to have something to really care about, something that you can emotionally connect to and fret over as you wonder whether these two will make it. Every look and touch between the two of them lit me up and as they skirt around various issues in conversations as tension builds I was concerned for their relationship. I so wanted them to be happy together even as I knew that their lifestyles and ambitions were too different for them to be in a fully committed relationship. When, spoiler, he dies I felt the same loss that Karen did as despite her having partially let go of him their love remains eternal and it is understood he will always be in her heart. Her final monologue about the lions sitting on his grave nearly brought me to tears and though I felt that time had passed and I had followed an epic journey I wasn't tired or overwhelmed, I felt I had seen all I needed to see.
Moments such as when Karen and Denys hold hands in the plane and when Denys shampoos and washes Karen's hair were just beautiful. Even their love scenes felt intimate and tender without feeling as though they were overly sexualizing Redford and Streep, a unique feat and one that enhances a romantic drama. Their bond seemed genuine as we understand that Denys is attracted to her because of her integrity and intelligence and that she loves him because he is passionate about life in a way that few people she has met are. The Kurt Luedtke screenplay writes interactions between the two that are filled with sexual tension and a conscious distancing between the two which is what makes the characters so lovable. The two lead characters are lovely and amazing together and they make you care about a film with minimal plot.
The film would be nothing however without the performances of it's two leads. Streep is typically wonderful in that way that we take for granted because she's so great in everything. She is an intelligent heroine with real concerns about her relationship and Streep manages to be the blushing woman being wooed and the touch coffee planter at once. Her flintiness and refusal to lose her dignity even in the face of major obstacles makes us respect her and understand why Redford's character would fall for her. Redford has a charisma that few stars possess and he puts it on full display here as he and Streep has a beautiful chemistry and he lights up the screen every time he appears. Brandauer is perfectly cast as Bror because he manages to go from seeming positively villainous to just slightly pathetic.
I can't even put into words how much I loved this film, I felt happier when watching it than I have watching a film in a long time and it restored my faith in cinema's ability to engage me.
The one thing I miss about filmmaking in this modern era, they don't make films like this anymore. This is a long and well made film with characters at the centre. The cast is amazing and the filmmaker makes for a long emotional journey. A little flawed due to historic inaccuracies, but not uncompromising in execution. The length may result in some negative scores, but these films were a dime a dozen and I miss them. You have all the character you can swallow and when bad things happen, it means something to the characters and the viewers. Flawed film, but never dull. 20/04/2019
A melodramatic romance set within stunning African vistas.
Out of Africa (1985) is Sydney Pollack's epic romance film. Pollack's beautiful direction keeps you engaged in each individual scene alongside the remarkable cinematography. Some of the wide shots looked a little out of focus and Pollack oddly chose a few green screen shots instead of the gorgeous African landscape in all its natural beauty. The plane sequence is particularly lovely to look at set to John Barry's dreamy score.
Out of Africa is far too slowly paced for a movie of this tremendous length. It's a nice romance film despite the daunting length. Pollack could easily have cut this feature down with some clever editing.
The romance is the key to Out of Africa. Meryl Streep is the star here as Karen Blixen. Her Danish accent is perfect and quite convincing. I forgot, as I watched Out of Africa, that she is not Danish by birth. It's really impressive. Her dramatic acting is of a higher caliber than the rest of the film's melodrama. She realistically portrays an unhappy wife and a longing divorcee.
Similarly, Robert Redford starts out as charming as Denys Finch Hatton, then leads into a man unsatisfied with routine and leaves later on. As impressed as I am by Redford's captivating performance, I wish he was in the first half more, as he is hardly present until the second half of Out of Africa, then suddenly he's always there, then he leaves. It's an uneven balance as you wish Redford had a bigger role. Streep carries Out of Africa.
As I stated, you believe in the romance of Out of Africa. The pretty setting, atmospheric music, biting dialogue, and grounded romance keeps you intrigued. Unfortunately, Out of Africa is merely a romance. The drama struggles of Streep's character living alone feel secondary at best. The racial and gender struggles of Africa in this period film feel background issues at most. Out of Africa is a massive undertaking with little to say about the larger cultural issues brought up throughout Out of Africa.
Next, the supporting roles in Out of Africa vary in greatness. Klaus Maria Brandauer is interesting as the philandering and negligent husband Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke. He definitely is underutilized as he actually disappears halfway into Out of Africa. Malick Bowens is excellent as Faran. His friendship and kindness to Streep's leading lady feel the most real relationship in Out of Africa in the end. Bowens plays it with a subtle knowledge and understanding as the servant and translator. Lastly, Suzanna Hamilton is charming as Felicity, though faintly remarkable due to the fact that she also disappears until towards the end of Out of Africa.
In all, Out of Africa uses Streep and Redford well while they are on screen together, but the unbalanced structure leaves you bored in many parts. Pollack's direction feels languid instead of innovative. The natural African backdrop is always inviting, but the clear animal cruelty is distracting. I like the romance, but I'll leave the melodrama in Out of Africa.
Loved Meryl Streep in this. Story was overly deep and the love affair so so. We didn’t even shed a tear when Denys’ plane crashed. It lacked an emotional impact