Starring: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey, Jose Luis de Vilallonga
Director: John Schlesinger
Summary: A young beauty sacrifices love and happiness to become an international celebrity
Other Nominations: Director, Actress (Christie)*, Original Screenplay*, B&W Costume Design*
-While the movie as a whole hasn’t aged well and the critique itself isn’t done that effectively, it’s one of the first films to capture some of the major problems with the baby boomer generation (and those who came after them).
-There are some really good tracking shots and the film captures the look of the period in swinging London with its whole production design.
-Very much a film of its time and place-mod culture in 60s Great Britain and very chic, and Christie represents concerns about youth in this era being self-absorbed, shallow and immature (but fashionable and attractive!) with difficulty/having no interest in forming truly meaningful and lasting relationships. However, it’s the same critique for 2 hours without any new insight as it goes on, she just keeps getting into fleeting relationships with different men while advancing her career. Reflects the worst parts of European cinema of the time i.e. empty pretension., saying more than what you really are; ironically, it’s as hollow as the kind of people it’s criticizing.
-Christie’s Oscar acceptance speech should have began with “I want to thank the Academy for giving Julie Andrews an Oscar last year”, because there’s no other way she was going to beat her for Sound of Music; on her own merits she’s…not that great. None of the men have much of a personality and don’t add anything, but her performance has to be the backbone of the movie and she must elevate the character to something that’s engaging on some level, but at that she fails. There’s no depth to her character (which is the point) but also to her performance-she’s very one-note; an example of someone with a similar character but still gives an excellent performance (but who is also better written which helps) is Faye Dunaway in Network, a film coming up in about a decade here. While she isn’t bad by by any means, it also isn’t much to talk about and doesn’t save the movie when it was the only thing that could have.
This was probably something fresh and new in its time, but it has not aged well at all. It makes the same point over and over again for its entire runtime and the characters and performances are nothing to write about. Skip.