Directed by Rob Marshall
Screenplay by Bill Condon, based on ‘Chicago’ by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb and ‘Chicago’ by Maurine Dallas Watkins
Starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly, Queen Latifah, Taye Diggs, Christine Baranski, Dominic West, Lucy Liu and Deidre Goodwin
As with many of the films in this series – at least of the ones I’d seen before – I hadn’t laid eyes on Chicago in close to a decade before jotting down my take on it. Sometimes, not having seen the film in years and forcing myself to revisit worked a detriment of the film, in that it made films I one enjoyed, seem a bit less than I thought they were – I’m looking at you A Beautiful Mind. Sometimes, it only confirmed what I already knew – hello Gladiator. So, in returning to it, Chicago faced the very real danger that while I once liked it a lot, I’d suddenly loathe it. Fortunately – if you can call a middling response something of a fortune – I reacted to Chicago this time largely the same way I reacted to it last time. Then, as now, I saw a film with parts I was fond of/blown away by, and parts I could have done without. And perhaps in the most honest assessment a person can give, after having watched it again this time I suspect the DVD will do as it did before – it will go back into my collection and sit for another decade, if not more, collecting dust.
Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins
Screenplay by Ernest Lehman
Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn
I never really noticed it before, but musicals can be pretty dark. On the surface they seem all happy and shiny because they tend to be in the bright sunshine, have the singing and dancing, and a generally joyful sensibility.
Underneath, though, they can go to so real terrible places.
Dir. Tony Richardson
Starring Albert Finney, Hugh Griffith, Susannah York, Edith Evans and David Warner
Screenplay by John Osborne, based on Henry Fielding’s novel of the same name
In the history of the academy awards, Tom Jones as Best Picture winner seems a major anomaly because it might be the most subversive of Best Pictures ever – bearing in mind that subversion and the Academy Awards are relative things. Nevertheless, given some of its darker and lustier themes, and their presentation in a jaunty, shiny package, it’s still a subversive film, if not as much as it otherwise could have been. Continue reading
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Story and Screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner
Starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron
Movies, by their very nature, are artificial and could not possibly capture real life. The closet we come is documentaries, but with the constant excising of the boring bits from the filming, creative editing and the like, even the truth is manipulated and artificial. Continue reading