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Not I (2000)

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6.5
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A young woman sits down in a chair. Only her mouth is visible as she begins to speak at a rapid clip, describing events that she insists did not really happen to her.

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Title: Not I (2000)

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A young woman sits down in a chair. Only her mouth is visible as she begins to speak at a rapid clip, describing events that she insists did not really happen to her.

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Featured in Check the Gate: Putting Beckett on Film (2003) See more »

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Walpurgis Night
Composed by Iain Ballamy
Performed by Iain Ballamy and Joanna MacGregor
Courtesy of SoundCircus SC002 Outside in Pianist
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Not "Not I". Not Beckett. Not good.
26 December 2008 | by (australia) – See all my reviews

Let me say first that I agree with the commenter who found the "minimum" length restrictions - in commenting on a Beckett work - ironic here. I would have preferred the subject line of this comment to have stood as my entire comment.

There are several problems with this film, as with all of those in this series that I have seen. Firstly, and the main one, with all of these films, is very poor direction. Julianne Moore gives a ghastly "emotive" performance, entirely at odds with the work; as with much bad acting, the blame lies with the director who allowed it.

Second, the tricksy "cutting"; this is purely to show off and for effect; again, nothing could be less true to the work.

Third, what on earth was the idea of having Ms Moore walk on to the set at the start? Again, more "cleverness" for no purpose.

As Billie Whitelaw says in her memoirs (and who would dare contradict her!), if you scrap the Beckettian staging, you don't have Beckett.

Fourth, Julianne Moore's teeth are too perfect, too attractive for this work; they needed some making-up at least if she was to play this role. Seriously.

Finally, a general complaint that this work was filmed here at all. The 1970's version elicited from Beckett one of the (apparently) very few comments he ever made on a performance of his work. It was only a word or two, which I won't dare to quote from memory (my copy of Miss Whitelaw's memoirs is not at hand); but the substance of it was evidently (in my interpretation and memory) that he was astonished by how perfectly his vision for this work was realised.

At the risk of repeating myself, why then ever film it again?

Once again I regret that we're only allowed to go as low as "1 out of 10".

Zero out of ten; zero out of a hundred.


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