Terence Davies' "The House of Mirth" - Classic or Dud?

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After rescreening it this weekend, I want to classify it as the best adaptation of a classic I've seen this decade. A handful of transitions and dollies are too smooth: they collide with Wharton's sensibility even if they're lovely in themselves.

I didn't understand the complaints that Gillian Anderson was miscast; if anything, she's too well-cast, as her tremulous uncertain beauty dovetails with Lily Bart's own vaporous sense of self. Probably the only film in which Eric Stolz's smug boringness works in his favor.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I haven't seen this yet, but Terence Davies is God.

I Supersize Disaster (noodle vague), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:03 (fourteen years ago) link

I liked this when I saw it, once, four years ago. I'd like to read the book before I see it again.

Marmot (marmotwolof), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:07 (fourteen years ago) link

please do Marmot! the book is magnificent and utterly devastating. the film is good but a little stilted (this maybe works in its favour). any deficiencies in the film are made up for with the beautiful series of shots going from a very slow pan of a dust-sheeted drawing room to a rainy garden and stream to the prow of a boat to the italian(?) coast which is breathtaking. the ending of the book is slighty more ambiguous than in the film.

Terrence Davies is a hero. i wish Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes were available on DVD.

here's the (short) ILB thread on the book

House of Mirth

jed_ (jed), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, I've got a copy buried somewhere on my shelf. Guess I'll put it in the pile.

Marmot (marmotwolof), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:18 (fourteen years ago) link

deficiencies in the film are made up for with the beautiful series of shots going from a very slow pan of a dust-sheeted drawing room to a rainy garden and stream to the prow of a boat to the italian(?) coast which is breathtaking.

That's the shot to which I was referring in my first post. It's gorgeous, but too lyrical for Wharton, maybe?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:27 (fourteen years ago) link

only time i've liked GA, good adaptation, nothing artistically on the line, but well done by all involved

timmy tannin (pompous), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I love it like most everyone, and yet I have never read a single satisfactory defense of it.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:30 (fourteen years ago) link

hm i dunno, i hadn't thought about it in relation to Wharton. i just saw it as an elegant way for Davies to overcome his budget constraints.


xxp

jed_ (jed), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:30 (fourteen years ago) link

defense of what, Eric?

jed_ (jed), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:30 (fourteen years ago) link

I love it like most everyone, and yet I have never read a single satisfactory defense of it

I have to write one for next week!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 4 September 2006 21:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I guess "defense" isn't the right word, but piece of criticism is what I meant. (Not that I have been seeking them out or anything.)

Eric H. (Eric H.), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 06:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Probably the only film in which Eric Stolz's smug boringness works in his favor.

yesyesyes! that casting was brilliant. I think the people who think Anderson was miscast are just being kind of physically literal, because Lily Bart is supposed to be a universally-acknowledged fox and Anderson is unconventional-looking. At least, that was the reason I thought she was miscast before I saw the movie. She's really amazing in it.

Also, it is so, so much better than Scorcese's Age of Innocence.

horseshoe (horseshoe), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 19:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Weird -- I was just talking about this film the other day, despite never having seen it and not having thought about in quite some time. I was under the impression that Anderson's performance was considered very good and that her failure to win an Oscar nomination was simply the result of the film being unseen. When I brought the film up recently, I was wondering why she hasn't done more film work.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 19:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Scorsese's film was an honorable failure. He tried so hard to prove that he could both understand Great Literature and avoid the Merchant Ivory approach to filming Great Literature that the film was a rather fruitless example of spinning wheels.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 20:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Lily Bart is supposed to be a universally-acknowledged fox and Anderson is unconventional-looking.

i have no basis for this but it's possible that Anderson is the kind of beauty that might have been thought striking at the time the book is set.

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:16 (fourteen years ago) link

I think you're right, jed. I think she looks exactly like the standard of beauty for her set at the time.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:18 (fourteen years ago) link

OTM.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Think of the Gibson Girl or a Boldini or Singer society portrait.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Er, Sargent, that is, not Singer.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:24 (fourteen years ago) link

the casting in this film is pretty bad--anderson's ok, but laura linney, dan ackroyd (jesus christ), and eric stoltz are awful. i think davies may have improved on the (very great) book in terms of some structural issues.

scorsese's film... davies likes it a lot. i liked it when i saw it (when it came out). should see it again.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Laura Linney was fantastic. The scene on the boat in which her Bertha Dorset subtly reminds Lily -- before embarassing her at the dinner party -- of what's at stake is the best thing she's ever done. The commingling of malice and social grace was so complete that I had to walk away from the TV.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I think it's the only Stoltz performance I like and I thought Linney was quite good, especially in the scene to which Alfred refers.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Davies also mitigates the anti-Semitic thrust of Wharton's condemnation of Lawrence Selden.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 21:54 (fourteen years ago) link

i think it is interesting to compare this film with Portrait Of A Lady (in addition to Age Of Innocence). Some odd choices by Campion, as usual, and not entirely successful, but she's moving beyond the tasteful lit adaptation moves that scorsese was using in Age Of innocence. i like all 3 films actually, but Campion's is the most daring, so i give it extra points. Davies' is the most accomplished tho.

timmy tannin (pompous), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 22:01 (fourteen years ago) link

i liked Campion's film a fair bit, i think (it's been a while). i remember loathing the Scorsese film at the time.

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 5 September 2006 22:09 (fourteen years ago) link

See, I dislike Campion's film -- an example of trendiness obscuring psychology and nuance.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 00:30 (fourteen years ago) link

I love it like most everyone, and yet I have never read a single satisfactory defense of it.

"A 'hat movie'" -- Richard Roeper

Love it (especially Linney), of course.

Andy_K (Andy_K), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 00:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Haven't seen it since original release, but I liked Gillian Anderson just fine and thought Davies smothered almost everything else with MerchIv-style aestheticism.

Scorsese's TAOI wasn't guilty at all of "tasteful lit adap" shit -- as he said, it's Goodfellas by other means. All that great stuff he did w/ lighting, irises, slo-mo etc.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 12:35 (fourteen years ago) link

"See, I dislike Campion's film -- an example of trendiness obscuring psychology and nuance. "

feminism = trendiness ???

Dr. M - i like the film, but visual tricks are always part of his act, i guess he just used more genteel ones in this instance. it's been ages since i've seen it, but i remember the narration as being a bit too much at times.

timmy tannin (pompous), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 13:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Davies smothered almost everything else with MerchIv-style aestheticism

I'm not sure what Wharton would have made of it, but I'm not absolutely convinced that she wouldn't have approved. Scorcese, otoh, made the unforgiveable mistake of casting Winona Ryder in his film.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 13:32 (fourteen years ago) link

dr morbius otm re:taoi!!!

j blount (papa la bas), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Pfeiffer was more miscast than Ryder, plus I loved the way she called Day-Lewis "NYOOland."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:37 (fourteen years ago) link

house of mirth = excellent.

dar1a g (daria g), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:39 (fourteen years ago) link

I keep misreading this title as "House of Meth"

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Pfeiffer was more miscast than Ryder, plus I loved the way she called Day-Lewis "NYOOland."

I kept imagining Sigourney Weaver in the part.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:58 (fourteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
i just re-watched "Distant Voices, Still Lives" and, almost 20 years on, it seems like even more of a miracle than it was at the time. It's surged close to the top of my all time list. it's EXTREMELY moving, a very singular film.

jed_, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 02:35 (fourteen years ago) link

It's surged close to the top of my all time list.

I'd love to see some more of the titles on this list.

Eric H., Tuesday, 24 April 2007 04:36 (fourteen years ago) link

... which I'm sure is probably in some other thread, but I'm not subjecting myself to that search function.

Eric H., Tuesday, 24 April 2007 04:37 (fourteen years ago) link

yes! unbelievably great movie, one of the best uses of music/sound in a film i've seen. and just plain beautiful, etc.

can't believe i haven't seen neon bible yet! and that other one! must fix, etc.

x-post

strgn, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 04:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Distant Voices Still Lives is one of my favourite films. I would kill for a decent copy.

admrl, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 17:35 (fourteen years ago) link

British cinema is so frustrating because I'm sure that we could have more films like this if someone sorted out all the funding issues.

admrl, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 17:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Eric, i'll have a think about that one and post back. i guess i don't have a firm top list, it changes all the time.

adam, "DV, SL" has just been rereleased in the UK (i.e. two prints: the ICA and the NFT, probably) but that does mean that a DVD is imminent. i didn't see the new print though, i watched a decent but not ideal torrent file. there's also this:

http://www.bfi.org.uk/booksvideo/books/catalogue/covers/books/distant_voices.jpg

which i'm dying to read.

jed_, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 18:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Eric, any top ten list of mine would most likely include these films:

Klimov's "Come and See"
Davies' "Distant Voices, Still Lives"
Laughton's "Night of the Hunter"
Haneke's "Code Unknown"
at least 2 David Lynch films but I can never decide which, most likely "The Elephant Man" and "Mulholland Dr".
either 2001 or Barry Lyndon.
Haynes' "Safe"
Sirk's "The Imitation of Life"

probably not too exciting from a cineaste's point of view ;)

jed_, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 18:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I think that's a very good list. I'm glad you like Barry Lyndon, I love it but know a lot of people who do not.

admrl, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 18:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, I don't know "Come And See".

admrl, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 18:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Cool. There are a few there I haven't seen yet.

Eric H., Tuesday, 24 April 2007 20:04 (fourteen years ago) link

i guess i'd probably add "Grey Gardens" to the list. somewhere.

jed_, Sunday, 29 April 2007 00:00 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Really surprised to see no other thread on The Long Day Closes or indeed the new film, OF TIME AND THE CITY. I haven't seen his others, just this new one, tonight. It's been hailed as the beautiful elegaic work of Britain's greatest surviving auteur, or something, etc.

Guess what?

It's pretty terrible !!!

the pinefox, Monday, 10 November 2008 22:56 (twelve years ago) link

aye DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES = the best british movie of the last 20-odd years.

piscesx, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 05:18 (twelve years ago) link

Davies’ narrating voice (carrying no trace of Liverpool

I have no grounds to take issue with anything else you've written specifically about this film, cos I haven't seen it, but this doesn't ring true. There's certainly a Scouse twang to Davies' speech. I hear no trace of Scouse with, say, Tom Baker or Simon Rattle, but TD definitely has it.

Michael Jones, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 12:04 (twelve years ago) link

Maybe the Council should have given the gig to Tarbuck.

Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I Never Went Away! (Marcello Carlin), Tuesday, 11 November 2008 12:06 (twelve years ago) link

Distant Voices Still Lives is one of my favourite films. I would kill for a decent copy.

― admrl, Tuesday, April 24, 2007 Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
British cinema is so frustrating because I'm sure that we could have more films like this if someone sorted out all the funding issues.

― admrl, Tuesday, April 24, 2007 Bookmark

Caught a screening of DVSL recently and yeah magical experience and all that but has it really been a case of 'funding'? I mean DVSL doesn't look at all expensive in the first place. No concrete ideas but it strikes me as a lot more than just a simple funding thing.

Incredibly 'singular' tho': I suppose it captures that very way in which voices, lives and songs intermingled in a er just-before-mass-record-consumption era, using music like almost nothing else.

On the British film classics tip has anyone got a copy of the DVD issue of 'Radio On'? The BFI put a really good effort on the booklet, for a change.

I liked Terence on Newsnight Review a few weeks ago. Something different, to say the least.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 12:30 (twelve years ago) link

Radio On is an incredibly bad film. The best thing in it is a cameo from Sting. It says something about cinema that this is readily considered a classic. But what exactly it says, we'll have to return to later, as in the meantime Tranmere have to defend this corner.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

You're wrong about Radio On.

the gaunty from the hilarious 'alan titchmarsh show' comics (Marcello Carlin), Tuesday, 11 November 2008 13:16 (twelve years ago) link

Y-y-you - you mean that - that someone ... ELSE is - is even b-b-BETTER than STING ???

the pinefox, Tuesday, 11 November 2008 16:08 (twelve years ago) link

Put it this way. Chris Petit's Weston-super-Mare is better than Jeffrey Archer's.

the gaunty from the hilarious 'alan titchmarsh show' comics (Marcello Carlin), Tuesday, 11 November 2008 16:17 (twelve years ago) link

Written with characteristic obliquity, but better:

Remember the Somme, with 37m poppies, and Kristallnacht. Remember tear gas in Selma, 1965, and tears of joy in Grant Park, 2008. Remember white faces as banks went belly-up. This suddenly seems remembrance year, a year full of "journeys" - and the moment, with the film-maker Terence Davies, to ask what memory means.

The eloquent Davies returns with Of Time and the City - part documentary, part autobiography. The city is Liverpool in the decades after the war. The time is boyhood and adolescence, grappling with homosexuality and a parallel rejection of Catholicism. And now, Davies seems to say, that world is gone. The streets are razed. The kids carouse, fornicate, feel no pain. He is an "alien" in the place where he was born.

It's five-star filming. But, almost accidentally, it touches something deeper: an exploration of how we see our past in compartments, little boxes of memory, through a haze of forgetfulness. For I, too, was in Liverpool for three of Davies' remembered years - and he doesn't quite remember.

Grim-faced lads marching off to fight in Korea? But that war was 1950-53, and Davies (who turns 63 today) was only five at the time. He doesn't really remember. Liverpool's overhead railway? Closed, 1956. The new Metropolitan Cathedral, opened 1967 - seven years after he knew he was gay. A huge BA poster fills the screen, signalling escape? But BA didn't exist until 1974.

Maybe detail, oscillating across a canvas of 20 years, is the enemy of artistic truth. Maybe Liverpool - a seasoned spinner of self-serving legend itself - habitually brushes aside precision. Maybe it was so long ago anyway that dates and scenes are lost without trace in the maw of individual memory. But, sealed, compartmentalised, this ride along the Mersey seems to feed on itself.

But hang on: it wasn't so long ago. It feels distant, because the archive footage used here has a fuzz to it. This past didn't exist of necessity in some cotton-wool country. Its ageing process is more artful than that, designed to let in a certain bleak nostalgia.

Yet the Liverpool of the 1960s was more than the Beatles (who Davies doesn't much like). It was Harold Wilson from Huyton, Shankland's plan for a modern city, Ken Dodd at the Empire, John Pritchard's Philharmonic, Bernard Hepton's Playhouse. The first flat I rented was flattened like the rest of Bedford Street North as the university grew. Goodbye to rats. But hello to something dynamic, hopeful - something absolutely all of a part with Merseyside 2008. And, in the mind's eye, it remains vivid, absolutely without fuzz.

Time isn't buried under tower blocks. It lives on with people, and with the things that bracket their existence: Steven Gerrard, Chinatown, Christianity, a fierce sense of culture. The world of long ago is today and tomorrow's world as well. The biggest drop in house prices since 1992? The lousiest recession since records began? It is often thought we have no grip on memory any longer, as though we don't remember - and cannot learn - so that our lives are trapped in a curious, panicky present.

Rubbish. Memory is a continuum, not a succession of time capsules bolted shut. Today's "journeys" tell a simple truth. 1961: the Beatles first play the Cavern; the 44th president of the United States is born. The futility of the Somme lives and dies again when Saddam's Iraq fights Iran through more bloody years of trench carnage. Compare and contrast Lumumba's Congo of 1960 and today: then weep. And when I walked through Berlin's Holocaust memorial the other day, schoolkids were playing touch round its field of 2,711 concrete slabs. Don't forget to remember, but remember to move on. Memory is a challenge, not a trap: and real journeys never end.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/10/terence-davies-memory-film

the pinefox, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 09:58 (twelve years ago) link

What pretentious tosh.

Also: "whom Davies doesn't much like," not "who." One expects better from an ex-Guardian editor and hence a Properly Trained Journalist.

the gaunty from the hilarious 'alan titchmarsh show' comics (Marcello Carlin), Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:11 (twelve years ago) link

Sure, that's an error. But the piece as a whole, if I understand it at all, seems to me wiser than the film.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:13 (twelve years ago) link

Your go to guy on all questions of memory:

http://daily.greencine.com/monaco-resnais.jpg

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:31 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

They're showing the Liverpool film at MoMA tonight at 8:15, but his Trilogy first at 6, so I'll probably see that alone as I ned to eat...

http://moma.org/exhibitions/film_exhibitions.php?id=11551

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 15 January 2009 16:10 (twelve years ago) link

(I've never seen the trilogy)

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 15 January 2009 16:10 (twelve years ago) link

it's v depressing. i'm not sure i like it.

jed_, Thursday, 15 January 2009 16:25 (twelve years ago) link

seven months pass...

has anyone read this?
http://media.us.macmillan.com/jackets/500H/9781844571390.jpg

cozwn, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 21:02 (eleven years ago) link

I wasn't much impressed by OTATC, but I was by his sonorous, guttural voice.

post-contrarian meta-challop 2009 (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 August 2009 21:08 (eleven years ago) link

That book seems like it should be the best thing ever, if you revere Farley and Davies as I do, but it's a bit disappointing.

Stevie T, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 21:21 (eleven years ago) link

^^that's what I feared : /

cozwn, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 21:21 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

pretty psyched for this:

http://www.empireonline.com/news/feed.asp?NID=29778

moholy-nagl (history mayne), Tuesday, 21 December 2010 09:54 (ten years ago) link

ten months pass...

So am I!

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 20 November 2011 11:47 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

Saw The Deep Blue Sea and really won't say much (before the review in late March) other than I quite like it, and that either Tom Hiddleston or his body double has a real nice ass.

Has Terence Rattigan been totally rehabbed in the UK for his centennial? I only know a few of the film adaps, like The Browning Version and Separate Tables, but he was scorned as utterly fusty 20 years ago, no?

Dr Morbois de Bologne (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 7 January 2012 03:34 (nine years ago) link

The House of Mirth is still my favorite "costume drama" of the last twenty years.

lumber up, limbaugh down (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 7 January 2012 03:35 (nine years ago) link

Yeah in the UK he has been out of fashion after 'the angry young men' came along. I would suggest that - given what I saw of Deep Blue Sea - a 'hidden' reason for that could be he happened to write great, involving parts for women. But its all pure speculation on my part.

Not sure about 'rehabbed': give it time. Love to see the play tho'.

I liked it a lot, the tough opening was well made. Didn't think the flashing forwards and back added much. Read an absoluetly hilarious review saying that My Week w/Marilyn was the better flick from the 50s (released in the same wk over here) bcz its vision of celebrity infested Britain that it portrays is something that we live more with today. Not seen in, but besides the inaccuracies in that assertion (the obsession with stars and celebrity surely did not start in the 50s) it sounded hilarious: Deep Blue Sea is a classic story of a person going from order to chaos, taking chances (which often don't go well). These are all questions we are all likely to find more relevant.

I also watched The Long Dy Closes, which I loved even more. Seems like a total musical in the manner of Demy, rather than Cinema Paradiso (as I think Marcello said on ILX)

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 7 January 2012 10:20 (nine years ago) link

watching that Mark Cousins show The History Of Film i was thinking 'i bet he doesn't mention Terence Davies' but then he did, and raved about him and interviewed him too.

piscesx, Saturday, 7 January 2012 10:45 (nine years ago) link

nine years pass...

I've watched this film at last. Beautifully made, shot, designed. Gillian Anderson seems to perform tremendously. But I couldn't really understand on what basis her character was 'ruined'. Maybe this social scene is beyond my ken.

the pinefox, Saturday, 6 February 2021 19:31 (five months ago) link

five months pass...

great movie is this. All the characters in it have few redeeming features but still the path to ruin is a universal theme and I always get a bit teary at the end.

MoMsnet (calzino), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:26 (one week ago) link

one of my favs

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:27 (one week ago) link

If you feel that way, Calzino, you should read Wharton's book. It may be my favourite novel and have read it 5 times at least. The End of the film is not quite the end of the film or, at least, you're not quite as sure as you are in the film, what actually happened.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:34 (one week ago) link

Actually, an ex of mine bought me a beautiful old copy of the book as a "sorry I broke up with you" present because he knew how much the book meant to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:39 (one week ago) link

weird that it came up on two different threads though, Plax mentioned it on another thread.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:41 (one week ago) link

I've never read any Wharton nor felt inclined to, but now I feel like I should try some!

MoMsnet (calzino), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:45 (one week ago) link

I reread The Custom of the Country 10 days ago to remind myself of how merciless she can be. Please read her.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:46 (one week ago) link

Wharton is absolutely amazing. Please do.

xpost yes, Alfred. It's merciless and humane at the same time. There's nothing like it. I don't think even James made a character as ruthless as Lily Bart that you care about and root for.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:52 (one week ago) link

That Davis carried that off in his adaptation is a big achievement

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 23:53 (one week ago) link

I love the neon Bible but I think everyone hates that movie

plax (ico), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:03 (one week ago) link

I've never seen it but everyone hates it, yes. I've hated Davis films that were well received but Distant Voices, Still Lives is all-time great, top 5, at times top 1, for me. I had to stop watching the Dickinson film because I was embarrassed for him, that he put that put there, so I'm all over the place with him.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:13 (one week ago) link

Yeah distant voices is amazing. I basically had a nervous breakdown the first time I saw it

plax (ico), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:22 (one week ago) link

Neon Bible shares aspects of it s staginess and the very mannered idealised refraction through a child's memories. It's sort of too weird to 'fail' imo whereas the later stuff looks atrocious. I feel like mirth is the only time he managed to do a ,'straight' film well. Gillian Anderson is excellent in it, I like her in theory but this is the only thing I've seen her in that I thought she was amazing in, she gets the messiness of the character over so well

plax (ico), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:31 (one week ago) link

Yes.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:33 (one week ago) link

xps

I thought the Dickinson film was brilliant as well tbh. But I recall you not liking Sunset Song either, Jed - which also I liked! I think I might have to overcome my hatred of Tom Hiddlestone and get round to watching Deep Blue Sea soonish.

yeah Gillian Anderson is burning bright in HoM. Amazing performance.

MoMsnet (calzino), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:45 (one week ago) link

amazing direction from TD as well. Her transition from arch-socialite playing the game to realising the game is finished is done without any mawkish nonsense. Which makes it all the more powerful.

MoMsnet (calzino), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:53 (one week ago) link

I did but I don't really want to get into it :)

GA has been brilliant, at times, and is VERY good in this. I think she's a bit too pleased with herself now and that gets in the way. Helen Mirren is the same, like she can't get over herself.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:58 (one week ago) link

xpost

Heavy Messages (jed_), Thursday, 22 July 2021 00:58 (one week ago) link

There wasn't anything wrong with Dan Ackroyd's performance, it just seemed to me that he was trying very hard to Be Serious and it came across as stilted.
Otherwise this was great, although with a little less mirth than advertised.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 22 July 2021 01:47 (one week ago) link

laura linney is also quite a force in this

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Thursday, 22 July 2021 01:49 (one week ago) link

i had a crush on eric stolz in this film lol

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Thursday, 22 July 2021 01:50 (one week ago) link

i recall a particularly beautiful scene where we see a garden pond being rained on for a solid minute or so? i should really watch this again soon but i'm afraid i don't have the heart for this kind of story anymore, i'm too fragile now lol.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Thursday, 22 July 2021 01:53 (one week ago) link

Yes, it blends very slowly into a shot of the house with the furniture covered with dust-sheets.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Thursday, 22 July 2021 02:08 (one week ago) link

The fade-in showing the bow of the ship from which Lily's eventually banished is just....

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 22 July 2021 02:11 (one week ago) link


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