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Young, attractive and vivacious, model Diana Scott is firmly decided to become rich and famous as well. To succeed, she does not hesitate to take bold steps. After a while, she literally strikes gold: she meets Robert Gold, a well-known TV journalist, who not only introduces her into new social and professional circles, but also abandons his family to live with her. Diana seems to have happily combined success and love. However, in those roaring sixties, others are ready to offer her even more money, fame, and, seemingly, fun than Robert can... Written by
Eduardo Casais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What a delight. Possibly the best of the British New Wave and one of the finest British films of all time. The story follows Julie Christie's rise up the social ladder by a succession of affairs and social posturing she's infuriating, but you can't resent her behaviour, she is so natural and full of joie de vivre impossible to keep in a cage. She first appears walking along the street swinging her handbag the same entrance as she made in "Billy Liar" and surely an indication that we are dealing with essentially the same character. Bogarde, a television journalist, is the first man she takes up with, and is as serious as she is reckless, yet somehow they are well-suited and their relationship, with some painfully familiar ups and downs, is touching.
The emotional core of the film is Bogarde and Christie's visit to an old writer. This, her first step up the social ladder, gives her the thrill of being somewhere, doing something. It is also a gently melancholy and thoughtful scene. Humour and emotion come in equal measure throughout, and every exchange crackles with meaning:
Christie: "You used me!" Bogarde: "You used me. It's a moot point."
Christie really earned her Oscar for this. Her performance is full of humour and irony, but she's mainly being herself and she has a genuine sensitivity and humanity that lifts you and carries you along. Only some slightly flippant scenes with her photographer friend (especially the shoplifting scene which was too much like "Breakfast at Tiffanys") were a little out of alignment. But Schlesinger does special things throughout. Every scene is like a little self-contained story, so sharply done you can almost hear a snap at the beginning and end as it falls into place.
This is a big film, almost as big as "La Dolce Vita" which it sometimes echoes - better, perhaps, on account of the razor sharp script by Frederic Raphael which is so accomplished, smooth, intelligent, witty and ironic that it has an almost poetic quality while still being thoroughly down-to-earth. The ending is unexpectedly downbeat, and doesn't feel like the real end, just a line they had to draw somewhere
which is perhaps what the film really was all about: the lines that
we have to draw at certain points in our lives that rule some things in, other things out, that enable us to go on, for better or worse. Really splendid stuff.
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