The Invisible Man
The Way Back
Blow the Man Down
Better Call Saul
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Katherine Hepburn floats into view and the film comes to life. A widow who is mourning the loss of her only son, as she meets with a Doctor who specializes in Lobotomies that she is keen on supporting financially, so that he might help lobotomize her neice to help with her delusions. This is just a small taste of the plot that unfolds, but as you can hear, the story being told here is not your run-of-the-mill Hollywood tale, which is both a good and a bad thing.
The film has a very unique story to tell but never goes full throttle in telling that story, pulling too many punches, leaving the viewer to have to fill in the blanks with imagination. I can sort of condone this considering the mystery of the film, which involves uncovering a man's hidden homosexuality, would have been considered taboo in 1959, and wouldn't have lent to being nominated for any Academy Awards.
Speaking of which, both Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor gave Oscar nominated performances and they truly deserve the praise. Taylor plays the neice who is being threatened with a lobotomy for knowing something that she shouldn't, but has no desire to share what she knows. She really shows the inner struggle of coping with her knowledge and the cinematography adds a second layer of Melodrama to her performance. Hepburn does a great job of protraying a delusional mother who's fighting to keep herself ignorant of the actions of her son. The only other main performance, that of Montgomery Cliff, leaves something to be desired. It's not entirely his fault, performing with two powerhouses, and still standing out is not an easy task, plus the screenplay makes most of his dialog a combanation of long strings of questions and him repeating the ends of Taylor's and Hepburn's sentences.
Besides these points, the writing was profoundly witty at times and melodramatic when needed, which is what is expected of a screenplay by Tennessee Williams.
Overall I enjoyed this film, but I think I would have enjoyed it more as a stage play... so long as it still starred Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor... what a sight that would be.
This film has a lot of basic problems, both in terms of structure and performance, but I have to say... I really enjoyed it. The high point of the film, when it really took off, was when the relationship between Venom and his host, Eddie Brock, takes center stage. These two characters really breath life into a film that, without them, would have been as dead as Eddie's Journalism career. It's just too bad that the revelation of this relationship doesn't appear until well into the films first hour, leaving the first act of this film feeling somewhat hollow. I guess that, just like Eddie Brock, this film needed Venom. I wish the filmmakers would have looked at the title of their film and got the hint.
The story of a silent film star during the rise of, and painful transition to, "Talking Pictures", his shrill voiced co-star/publicity girlfriend, and his stage actress love interest, who believes that when it comes to movies, "If you've seen one, you've seen them all", but finds her singing voice lends well to the new speaking artform.
My only issue is that most of the songs feel like digressions, taking me away from the story of the film instead of adding to it. That being said, the music and dancing in this film are a dream, one I wished I never had to wake from, full of whimsey and wonder, and the comedic view of 1920's Hollywood culture on display is refreshing. Truly one of the best musical films of all time, it's too bad the "Song and Dance" musical is a dying art form.
I have Only recently become a fan of Merchant Ivory Productions, after watching Howard's End for the first time, which I am a huge fan of. This film makes Howard's End look like Howard the Duck in comparison. The acting done by Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson rank as some of my favorite performances in film, and might be the best of both their careers. The poignant story of a man who hides his true feelings all his life in an attempt to be "proper" , leading to the downfall of his employer and the loss of his one true love... it was an extraordinary experience.
This film was truly amazing. Watching it felt like stepping foot into a pile of comic books like a geeky Mary Poppins... if Mary had just finished dropping acid. From the amazing animation style to the heartfelt story of a boy learning to believe in his abilities, this film has it all. The themes of family and Missing your loved ones reign true and the lesson that it leaves with you, that anyone and everyone can wear the suit, that everyone can be a hero in their own right, is an important lesson to have learned.... Plus bonus points for Spider-Gwen.