Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Battle Of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1945
If you love watching people with drinking problems wander around New York City trying to find their next fix, than this movie was made for you! For all you mental ward enthusiasts there is also a little of that. Anyone else will more than likely not choose this as an ideal movie for a Friday night. (Discovery of a pattern: This is true for many Best Picture winners; the Academy just loves their depress fests.)
The movie centers around a tortured writer (when are they not) who is by chance left alone for the weekend by his caretaker brother and girlfriend and decides to spend his free days trying to write, but ends up mostly drinking. This ends up as one big hell of a weekend.
Overall, by today's standards, the plot is extremely melodramatic and at times over the top. Although, the movie is at its best at the times when it is just an honest and terrifying look into this mans terrible struggles. Director Billy Wilder's dramatically angled camera work and the truly frightening soundtrack work together to artfully create an ominous tone from the very beginning. These successful elements make me believe this movie was/is extremely influential to other filmmakers.
Ray Milland, the lead actor, won the Best Actor in '45 as well and without him this movie would not hold up nearly at all. Most of the other actors in this movie are cheesy and many of the women just portray that very flighty female character that is in every old movie. There is even this one actress that only talks in abbrevs. Did women in the 40's really say "ridic." all the time, or were they just sooo ahead of their time? Anyway, watching Milland in this movie made me want to look him up on IMDB (that is a compliment).
I'm still going to recommend this movie, because I do think that it is a dramatic piece worth watching and is by no means boring. Anything that has long stretches of boring will get my "reject" stamp of disapproval.
But enough with the depressing movie. As a final note, it is a wonder-us, actual clear-blue sky, fall day in the Pacific Northwest. I'll get back to my Avett Brothers, sunflowers, and tomato picking. Enjoy those rays!