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|Index||118 reviews in total|
This is not like most of Mamet's films in most ways, although it is like them in that what the film is supposedly about is actually just the top layer. What the story is really about is going on underneath. If you pay attention and are willing to be patient and readjust your expectations to a more measured pace, you will be rewarded. It helps if you are familiar with English history and literature to get some of the references. There are a few moments beautifully acted by Rebecca Pidgeon and Jeremy Northam. Nigel Hawthorne and Gemma Jones are, as always, excellent. Finally, a great ending scene.
The Winslow Boy was an excellent movie - a period piece with a modern feel. I recommend it not only to people like me who love Merchant-Ivory movies, but to anyone who enjoys smart and precise acting and direction. The final resolution of the mystery is not as important to the viewer as are each character's struggles and sacrifices. This movie is a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.
What a wonderful film! A classic English story, but this time (re)written and directed by an American, David Mamet. The film takes its time to tell the story (as many English films do) so patience and attention is required, especially by us Americans, but the reward is great. The performance of Jeremy Northam is especially wonderful. His Sir Robert Morton character is cool, calm and controlled, yet vulnerable in his attraction to the feisty Catherine (Rebecca Pidgeon, Mamet's real life wife). Northam is so good an actor that if the BBC, or whomever, is looking for someone in a few years to redo the Sherlock Holmes TV films of the late, great Jeremy Britt, Northam would be the ideal choice as Holmes.
I have just finished watching The Winslow Boy based upon the true story of an English family that is fighting to prove the innocence of their younger son accused of theft. The father played by Nigel Hawthorne gives a tremendous performance as a Father who is willing to sacrifice everything to prove his sons innocence. Jeremy Northam does a great job of playing Sir Robert Morton, the famous attorney who defends him, and I give the most credit to Rebecca Pidgeon who is so natural and incredibly beautiful in those English dress styles that she wears, that you can see right off why Jeremy Northams character takes the case. Rebecca does a fantastic acting job as the feminist suffragette fighting for her brothers cause. She is also an accomplished singer by the way. Her real life brother does a adequate job playing the elder brother in the film. He reminds me of a clean cut version of Steve Buscemi. A film that is G rated, but angled towards adults. This is not a movie for people who like tons of action and dead bodies. But if you like a movie with a story to it, then it's a perfect cup of tea. I liked it so much I bought the video.
i quite enjoyed this film - the story was quite simple, but executed well
and with excellent characters and dialogue.
all the acting was very good, and the sets/costumes were a pleasure.
in all the film was a pleasant surprise.
I enjoyed "The Winslow Boy" with its meaningful and sparse dialog. Tension was provided by what wasn't said or expressed. If you are used to Hollywood histrionics you'll hate this movie. No put-downs or wisecrack asides, no vulgarity, no cleavage, no guns, and no teens but loads of intelligence. Watching the social interplay of pre WWI England was fun. The ambiguity of did he or didn't he added to the pleasure. Well filmed and well acted. Worth seeing but be forewarned thinking may be required.
It's not hard to say that The Winslow Boy is the best film of 1999! Having
been released to only a few theaters across the country, I was unable to see
it, and waited impatiently until it appeared on DVD. I fell in love with it
immediately. It was far from shallow, with the characters having layers of
personality, and the story being quite possible.
I admit that it did not move along as fast as most people would have liked, but this is a *drama*!! It's not The Mask of Zorro!! There aren't supposed to be any sword fights, angry conversations, or heart-stopping moments. Instead, there is a delicately-crafted story with its sad moments as well as its bits of humor. (The many conversations between Suffragette Catherine Winslow and Lawyer Sir Robert Morton are not to be missed!)
Also, the delicate touches here and there add a great deal to the story, and the ending will bring a smile to your face. It may not be what you expect, but it's definitely the most romantic part of all the film. Jeremy Northam was as dashing as ever, and made a wonderful lawyer, right down to the angry glare, the lazy inclination of his head, the swift, elegant movements.
All in all, this is a film I'll recommend to anybody. Don't let the other reviewers turn you off ~ The Winslow Boy is not one to miss!
When director David Mamet created the new 1999 screen adaptation of the
Winslow Boy I wondered if he took the advice I gave him in a letter after
directed The Spanish Prisoner. I advised him to continue making movies
are for the whole family, but with an appeal for adults. Well He did it!
This is the first "G" rated film, intended for an adult audience, that I
remember in years.
At the onset, Ronnie Winslow (The Winslow boy) has been expelled from a prestigious English Naval prep school. When Ronnie tells his father Arthur Winslow (Nigel Hawthorne) that he was innocent of any wrongdoing, Arthur begins a fight to restore his son's name.
The film is not a courtroom drama; it is more of an examination of characters that choose to make great personal sacrifices for a beloved. Interestingly the film opens with the family coming home from Sunday services. As they enter their house they chat about the scripture reading of the day. The reading happens to be from Gen. 41:18 about Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dream. In pharaoh's dream the seven lean cows eat the seven fat cows, foreshadowing the coming meager years in their own household.
The story mainly focuses on three characters, Arthur Winslow, his daughter Catherine (Rebecca Pidgeon, who also had a leading role in the Spanish Prisoner and is the directors wife), and the family attorney Sir Robert Morton (played by the handsome Jeremy Northam). Catherine is a liberated but temperate suffragette. Sir Robert is the cool and "apparently" passionless, self-interested lawyer who is opposed to feminism. The most fun scenes are when these two are juxtaposed. A little Pride and Prejudice without the pride. Once again we see the age-old dichotomy between the logical man and the intuition of a women; I never tire of it.
The film's premise is that justice and truth are worth sacrificing for. God the Father's Son was unjustly accused and was made to pay even while he was innocent. So to, we see this earthly father watch his son unjustly accused. Conversely, just as with Isaac and Abraham, our Father in heaven is often more gentle with us than He is even with His own Son.
Keep in mind while you watch the film that there are certain devices that David Mamet uses that give the film his signature; devices that make the films "Mametesque", if you will. The first thing to look for is how the characters will often rephrase their statements; they rephrase their statements. Get it. Another device he uses is omission. Characters may be talking to one another and you are listening just fine until they walk behind a wall and then you don't hear them any more. The thing omitted is always something seemingly important that you really wanted to know. Sometimes you find out later in the story and sometimes you don't. If it's important to understanding the characters you will find out, but if it is nonessential to the plot, i.e. how much money the process is going to make, you won't find out.
I highly recommend this film. My three and five year olds fell asleep. My eight and ten year olds enjoyed the film and I think they learned a lesson about telling the truth.
David Mamet is a writer and director best known for his sparse, intense
dialogue and puzzle-like plots. The thought of him doing a movie set in
Edwardian England, after decades of Ivory-Merchant treats, was shocking.
But it works, brilliantly.
Edwardians were reserved people who were enjoying the fruits of the height of the British Empire and a comfortable middle class had been established. Into such a family enters a shocking development: the youngest son has been expelled from school for stealing. He insists on his innocence and the family turns to his defense, at great emotional and financial cost.
Based on a true story, The Winslow Boy is a fairly conventional drama about the tedious, disheartening search for justice experienced by far too many people. As is suggested to the family many times, why make all this fuss and get on with your lives. But this is about people to whom principles matter.
Mamet's careful control of the actors and direction perfectly suit the mood of the period, even if one can see the plot's bones poking through. Well worth my "9."
I found The Winslow Boy to be quite a departure for Mamet from The Spanish Prisoner, but very enjoyable. Again, scruples and honesty are the centerpiece and the strain it takes on the Winslow family. Nigel Hawthorne is once again brilliant as the world-weary father who leads the fight for justice in clearing the family name. Very uplifting!
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