In a nursing home, resident Duke reads a romance story for an old woman who has senile dementia with memory loss. In the late 1930s, wealthy seventeen year-old Allie Hamilton is spending summer vacation in Seabrook. Local worker Noah Calhoun meets Allie at a carnival and they soon fall in love with each other. One day, Noah brings Allie to an ancient house that he dreams of buying and restoring and they make love. But Allie's parents do not approve of their romance since Noah belongs to another social class, and they travel to New York with her. Noah writes 365 letters to Allie, but her mother Anne Hamilton does not deliver them to her daughter. Three years later, the United States joins the World War II and Noah and his best friend Fin enlist in the army, and Allie works as an army nurse. She meets injured soldier Lon Hammond in the hospital. After the war, they meet each other again and Lon, who is wealthy and handsome, proposes. Meanwhile Noah buys and restores the old house and ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
My Favorite Scene was the One with the Geese, not the Gosling
Prior to watching "The Notebook," I was not familiar with the work of the actress Rachel McAdams. She made an indelible impression by sustaining an outstanding performance in this film. Her character Allie is the pivotal role in the film, as she must make the crucial romantic decision on which the story turns. There are few performers capable of evolving the complexity of characterization as achieved by Rachel McAdams.
The film recreated effectively the world of the 1940s in America, including the parental pressure exerted by the well-to-do family of Allie on whether to allow their daughter to pursue a young man from the other side of the tracks. As played by Ryan Gosling, the character of Noah could have revealed more emotional layers. There was only one scene in the film where he really showed that there was something at stake in his love for Allie. He apparently wrote her a passionate letter every day for a year. Especially in the film's early scenes, Gosling could have shown more of the passion.
The other cast members were outstanding, including James Garner and Gena Rowlands in the parallel story. In the two plots, "The Notebook" merits comparison with another outstanding romantic film, "The Bridges of Madison County." As the two subplots of "The Notebook" come together, one of the key characters is Allie's mother. As always, Joan Allen delivers a convincing and complete character portrayal, as the well-intentioned, but conflicted mother. In one of the most moving scenes in the film, the mother opens up to the daughter and tells her story of youthful love and a fateful choice similar to the one Allie herself must face.
My favorite scene in the film: a wonderful sequence where Noah and Allie are in a boat in the backwaters of South Carolina. The waterway is simply filled with white geese. It is a stunning and picturesque moment, among many in this well-crafted film. If there is such a spot in South Carolina, then I want to go there!
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