Life in small town Wisconsin. Selma and Arnold, aged 7 and 5, pal around together between their two farms. Selma has a newborn calf that her father gave to her which she named 'Elizabeth'. Nels is the editor of the Fuller Junction Spectator and the kids just call him 'editor'. Viola is the new school teacher from the big city. While Nels wants to marry Viola, Viola does not want to live in a small quiet, nothing happening town. The biggest news is that Faraassen has built a new barn. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Of course you don't know me, but if you believe that I am the furthest thing from a sentimental person, you should trust me when I say this film (the title of which I cannot even bring myself to reproduce it's such a HORRIBLE title, one of the worst ever) blew me away. This film is like Debussey's music, it flows along and has a spontaneous quality to it, as if it weren't planned at all. The LACK of conflict for at least the first hour is a BOLD move esthetically. It took real guts to make this film, and real skill too. Those who would criticize its lack of "realism," its failure to acknowledge the DARK SIDE know not what they do. We NEED movies which acknowledge the fact that life can be good, that childhood can be fun, that the effortless insights of children make us laugh. I am still laughing at Arnold, who in one scene in the barn bombards Martinius and Selma with "why" after "why" after "why." "Why can't I go to school?" asks Arnold. "Because you're too young," answers Selma. "Why am I too young?" he asks. "Just because you are." "But why?" he asks again. "Because." Maybe it's just me, but that is one hilarious exchange of dialogue, one of many in the film. Margaret O'brien is BRILLIANT in these scenes, astonishingly natural in front of the camera.
Sure there are attempts to get deep about the war, and there are other "literary" moments of forced deepness, but overall this is one RARE piece of film ART, and an unjustly ignored CLASSIC.
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