Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

22 May 2009

Martin Ritt Double Feature

I recently watched two Martin Ritt movies—Sounder and Cross Creek—and neither was very interesting.

Both films are about the South.

I am being unkind. Sounder is not that bad. At least the family dynamics in it are interesting, and it is also smart about racism—to a point. Sounder also boasts some very fine acting from Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, and delightful supporting cast. Still, the filmmaking is rather boring, distant, and always "epic" without ever earning it.

But Cross Creek is a boring mess. I have more to say about why, but it doesn't even really warrant it. What a snooze-fest! Sometimes white people can just be so boring! This movie is about author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who learns about herself by moving to a backwoods part of Florida, exploiting (and being sentimental about) the local people, and writing about their earthiness. I mean who cares? I guess some people do, but I am not one of those people. Rip Torn gives rather an interesting performance in the film, but the rest of the movie is totally unremarkable.