Judy isn't very good. It's a strange little movie that was clearly made with not very much money. It's also based on a stage play by Peter Quilter called End of the Rainbow, and although the film doesn't feel too stagey (there are plenty of sequences outside, and we move around quite a bit) many of the scenes are overly long, and Judy is a bit more dependent on dialogue than it ought to be.
This is the movie at its best. There are also some really excellent musical sequences, where Judy sings in the Talk of the Town night club for a theatre full of delighted patrons. It's hard not to love listening to the fun nostalgia of "The Trolley Song".
Judy is also super weird. Renée Zellweger's Garland is never not interesting to watch. It's just that I've seen Judy in so many movies, and in so many television clips. And Zellweger is not Garland, right? I guess, I sort of forgot every once in a while that she wasn't Judy. It wasn't necessarily bad, and as I say, it's always interesting as a performance, but the whole thing is just a bit strange to sit through ... in an uncanny way.
Still... I liked it. And I sort of loved Zellweger, even though I don't usually like her. I found the whole thing fascinating, even if I'm honest, it's really not that great.
28 October 2019
But, I dunno... it's just not that interesting. It feels like it's already been done. The script is at times stellar, and Tom Schilling and Paula Beer are both great.
Sebastian Koch – who is a brilliant actor and first billed here – really doesn't have enough to do. And this is in a three-hour movie!
The real takeaway from Never Look Away, though is Caleb Deschanel's photography, which is truly extraordinary. The film deserves a view if only for that.
27 October 2019
26 October 2019
25 October 2019
22 October 2019
Gladys George is good in Valiant Is the Word for Carrie, but this is nowhere near her best work, and most of this plot is insipid stuff. Jackie Moran is great as little Paul, and I thought John Howard was fine as adult Paul, but Arline Judge, who is second billed here, is fairly terrible.
Valiant Is the Word for Carrie just isn't worth Gladys George. It's nice that she got her only Oscar nomination for this movie, but one does wish it had been for something better.
And at the end of the movie, a character actually says valiant is the word for Carrie, as if we didn't know what the movie was called.
21 October 2019
But the worst part is that, frankly, about an hour into The Souvenir I started wondering why he was with her. This drug addicted loser was actually the most interesting thing about this foolish woman. As for the movie itself: it is tedious beyond measure. It's a throwback to '90s mumblecore, and not in a good way, if there ever was a good way to be '90s mumblecore. I was completely bored out of my mind by this movie.
I saw Gaspar Noé's Climax in 2019, so The Souvenir can't be the worst movie I see this year, but it will be close to the bottom, I can tell you that.
Update: apparently, Joanna Hogg is making a sequel to this movie called The Souvenir Part II! I do not know who asked for this, but it was not me.
17 October 2019
16 October 2019
While we're talking about things that are terrible, all of my friends made fun of me for talking about how attractive the young Robert Fuller was. And I guess he is sort of generic. But hey, I was doing my best to enjoy this movie, and Robert Fuller was the eye-candy.
|Robert Fuller. What?|
15 October 2019
12 October 2019
03 October 2019
01 October 2019
But White Banners is so well told, the narrative is so dependent on concerns other than the family melodrama, and the film is so beautifully cast, with Bainter, Jackie Cooper, and Claude Rains, that Edmund Goulding's film really works very well.
Bainter was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress for this movie in 1939, but she didn't win. Bette Davis won for Jezebel. Bainter is, of course, also in Jezebel, and she won Best Supporting Actress for the same movie. So it all comes out in the wash, I guess. And watching Fay Bainter remains a pleasure.