Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Jefferson in Paris (1995)
Watch this film!
I watched this movie last night. Unbelievably, Channel 4 (tv channel here in the UK) scheduled it at 2.15am - right in the middle of the night! Who on earth is likely to watch it at that time? I just hope some people decided to record it & watch it later.
I think its a great film. I couldn't stop watching it. It gives you an insight into Thomas Jefferson and his personal life, and into the French society of the time. The film is also visually great.
But, as with any movie, it has its flaws. My main criticism is that it was too much like an historical documentary. It didn't have the courage to speculate more about the relationship between Jefferson and Sally (the black slave girl). Jefferson must - in real life - have displayed more emotion with the slave girl than is depicted in this film, especially behind closed doors. Yet we don't see it. We see Jefferson being more affectionate with his daughter (Jefferson hugs her at one point in the film), than with Sally the slave girl, and yet he is supposed to have been passionately involved with Sally & fathered her children. Therefore it has a documentary feel to it, without any fictional element, which leaves the viewer somewhat detached & disconnected.
But credit to the maker's for tackling the subject, and it's certainly made me interested in learning more about the man.
The Patriot (2000)
you've got to see it...
Undoubtedly, this film brings to life a very interesting period of our history, and as a Brit, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
Two notably ridiculous scenes though need mentioning. First, where Mel Gibson (as Martin) singlehandedly ambushes and kills an entire column of British Redcoats; and second, where Mel Gibson whistles for General Cornwallis's dogs to follow him from the fort. These scenes are Hollywoodisation gone silly.
Other than this, the film is great. Good cast, good score, good pace, & good scenes. Two characters that were under used in my opinion, are Tom Wilkinson as the British General Cornwallis and Peter Woodward as British General O'Hara. But the performances we see from both these men, for me, stand out.
By the end of the film, I felt 100% admiration for the 'American' men who decided to stand upto us colonial Brits, all those years ago. But I also felt a sneeking admiration for the Brits of the time, who as a small nation showed admirable ingenuity & remarkable ambition...even though our methods weren't beyond criticism...the movie made me ponder for a while what America would be like today if things had gone our way....maybe you'd all be drinking cups of tea!!!
The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960)
well worth watching...
The relationship between Oscar Wilde and Bosie, has already developed and is in full flow when this film begins, so we are almost immediately immersed into the war of hate between Bosie and his homophobic and severely disapproving father. Bosie's father appears to disapprove of his son merely because of his son's lack of manliness, and despises Oscar Wilde because of what he perceives as Wilde's role in perverting his son. But the resentment is also clearly due to the fact that Bosie's father just cannot connect with his son on any level (well portrayed in this film) and it is Wilde that appears to steel that genuine place in Bosie's heart. This just eats away at Bosie's father, and so he attempts to destroy the relationship between Bosie & Wilde in any way he can. But the more he tries, the more he pushes his son away, into the arms of Wilde.
Peter Finch plays Oscar Wilde admirably and he convinced me that this could have been the real Oscar Wilde. John Fraser plays Bosie acceptably - although i think it's his clean 'nice boy' looks that help him pull this role off more than his acting talent. Bosie's father, the Marquis of Queensbury is played by Lionel Jeffreys and he displays the cantankerous side of the character well. The courtroom scenes could have been tenser, and i dont think James Mason (as one of the barristers) delivers his lines with quite the same passion of some barristers I've seen. It is in one of the courtroom scenes, that quite apart from his relationship with Bosie, the true extent of Wilde's promiscuity with regard to young men is exposed, which was the one point for me in the film that I felt slight disgust at Wilde, although his promiscuity still didn't justify in my opinion what then happened to him. I'm just glad that society has become more tolerant nowadays, in some parts of the world.
The film is approximately two hours long, is packed with Oscar Wilde witty one liners, which made the film very funny at times. On second viewing, the film was even more enjoyable. Shot in 1960, I watched it for the first time here in the UK on Monday 7th Jan 2002 on Channel 4 who played it as an afternoon matinee, and the quality of the copy they played was superb - crystal clear. All in all, the film was a joy to watch.
I would highly recommend it, as it illustrates the relative intolerance of the times in England at that time. There are no sensual scenes in the film, so its 'safe' to watch for everyone. I say this because I know that a friend of mine recently stopped watching the latest Oscar Wilde film (with Stephen Fry, released 1997) as soon as he realised that it contained some male nudity & stuff, which he said he was personally uncomfortable with. And the 1960 film doesn't lose anything for not having any sexual stuff in it, believe me. Please watch it, if you get the chance.