Sunday, March 27, 2011

Battle of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1965

When I started this Best Picture or Bust challenge, I knew many of the winners were things I had never seen.

Then we get to the Best Picture Winner of 1965, which is not only the most consistently enjoyable musical, but also a film recognized and loved the world over.

As I count myself among these fans, consider this less of a review, and more a retrospective in a life-long appreciation of  The Sound Of Music.

In my younger years, wearing a flowing pink dress and dancing around in a gazebo was high on a list of priorities after seeing this film for the first time. Not that this idea doesn't still appeal to me, however the song, "Sixteen Going On Seventeen", definitely doesn't gain my praise as much as when I was ten.

Now, watching this for about the millionth time, in my twenties, it makes way more sense to slap Ralph in the face, call him a traitor, and hold out for a rendezvous with a handsome captain to sing the ballad, "I Must Have Done Something Good." Oh, how the years change our view on things!

The Sound Of Music is one of those films that can be loved forever, especially as it can be looked at completely different each time it is watched throughout a lifetime. The story has numerous levels; as a child it can be enjoyed just for the memorable music, or for the wonderful Julie Andrews, and even adults can admire it simply because of the soaring Austrian scenery and groundbreaking cinematography.

I was one of those kids who was mesmerized by the music, with all the "raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens" business, and I still remember the first time I realized there was much more to the movie than happy- go-lucky times with a governess. Oh, so you're telling they are running away from the Nazi's at the end? Got it! Others probably shared this epiphany along with similar later-in-life revelations about E.T. and that whole scary government conspiracy.

Figuring out the WWII connection was really just the beginning of discoveries when growing up with this film. As a child I would never have appreciated the dynamic between Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Those two work so well together pushing each others buttons in their first meetings, and then, as mentioned earlier, the romantic inside me has currently made their moonlit meeting in the gazebo an all time favorite movie scene. The lighting and just the way those two look at each other is quite fantastic. Although, it does put a damper on things once it was revealed that Plummer is not doing his own singing; one movie fact a trivia buff actually hates learning.

In a classic film like this one, through the years, some appeal never changes; The Sound Of Music is simply an astounding sight for the eyes. From bright, sunny days a top hills alive with music (does any other film have a better opening or ending scene?) to the children, with Maria in tow, "Do Re Mi-ing" throughout the thriving streets of Salzburg; there is never a moment where your eyes drift from the screen.

Many times movies we enjoyed as children get lost on us once we age. The true test of some classics is that the audience will get older, and the film only gets better.

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