Saturday, July 9, 2011

Movie Update 10

A couple Best Picture winners, and a couple films that lost the award to Rebecca in 1940.

The Grapes of Wrath

I've always kind of wished I read more than one John Steinbeck book, and this didn't change that. I'm not sure how well John Ford's film translated the original story, but it's still a great movie especially because of the flavorful (especially for the 40s) dialogue and some outstanding performances. Henry Fonda is a good main character and Jane Darwell is good as the mother, and both deliver memorable speeches well. The best work though might be done by John Carradine as a former preacher who gets mixed up in the Joad family's journey. Somewhat depressing but worthwhile.

Midnight Cowboy

I usually like Dustin Hoffman, but strangely I thought he hurt this movie a little bit. His performance is generally fine, it's just the voice he puts on seems really fake and distracting. It's not too bad though, and Jon Voight is pretty outstanding in the real lead role. This is one of those movies that's full of stuff that's just wormed its way into the collective unconscious, and seeing it all play out was interesting. I found the story itself occasionally dull, though it begins and ends pretty well. It's a unique movie, and a solid one.

The Philadelphia Story

Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant might be the two best leading men of the era, and putting them in the same movie with Katharine Hepburn, well... it's almost disappointing that the movie is just really good rather than a masterpiece. It's a solid romantic comedy if not actually a particularly funny one, with really good performances propelling a twisty little love story. It's just fun seeing all these people together, and it's just the old school Hollywood machine doing its thing well.

The Sound of Music

I liked this more than I expected I would, for some reason. Usually I don't go for this extremely family friendly kind of thing, but I don't know, it's just a pleasant experience. I almost didn't mind the nearly three hour running time. Nice songs, nice performances, nice message. Nice movie. Surprisingly funny, too. Plus it was entertaining spotting the tons of references from cartoons and other movies throughout.

No comments: