TCM has to be congratulated by the magnificent documentary about Greta Garbo it presented recently. As directed by Kevin Brownlow, the film concentrates in presenting a balanced portrait of one of the strongest personalities that graced the screen during the XX Century: Greta Garbo. The narration by Julie Christie, is excellent.
"Garbo" presents a vivid picture of the mythical figure of Greta Garbo, from her humble origins, to the height of her fame, to the years of oblivion. One thing that comes clear in the film is that contrary to what one might think, Ms. Garbo was not a recluse, on the contrary, she filled her days roaming the streets of her adopted city, New York.
The director is to be commended in that he takes us everywhere, covering the life of the actress. He even takes us where no one else has dared to go, Greta Garbo's inner sanctum, the apartment where she lived on the upper east side of Manhattan. We get glimpses of how the great Garbo lived in her elegant place overlooking the East River, where we see some of the paintings she collected.
For a woman with humble origins, Ms. Garbo deserves a lot of credit for making herself the exquisite figure she became. One has to put oneself in her shoes to realize that she just wanted to live like anyone else did, shunning the limelight and being the down to earth woman she was.
Some of the people interview in the film, like her several family members, the great Clarence Brown, who directed her in some of her best films, George Cukor, and Charles Busch expand on what really comes across that she was an honest human being who had her feet on the ground and had no pretensions or vanity. Her glamorous past was history and all she wanted was to stay away from all the glitter.
Congratulations to Kevin Brownlow for his perceptive take on the woman and the myth.
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