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Obsession (1976)
7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
For Bernard Herrmann Enthusiasts Only, 11 April 2005

I revisited "Obsession" recently because I've always been a fan of the late, great Bernard Herrmann. In the late 1970's, I bought the "Obsession" soundtrack on LP because, as one critic so aptly wrote, "Herrmann's score would make even blank film compelling." As for what happens on the celluloid, it's obvious that this movie was a lower-budgeted rush job (example: mid-70's automobiles in scenes of 1959 New Orleans). It's also quite a feat to make Florence look so drab and gray, while the middle third of the film bogs down tremendously. And the excessive use of filters by Vilmos Zsigmond makes the film look less ethereal than out-of-focus.

In my opinion, the only other positive for the film is Genevieve Bujold's performance. It stands in marked contrast to the one given by Cliff Robertson, who is leaden throughout and provides no shades or nuances of a conflicted man. And a young John Lithgow fares no better, with his outrageously syrupy Southern accent.

Five stars out of ten. For Benny and Genevieve.

5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
A Liberal's Fantasy, 17 March 2003

I have several problems with this movie, not the least of which is positing liberalism as Good (environmentalism, gun control) and conservatism as Evil (character assassination). Mr. Sorkin -- it ain't that cut and dried. Besides, were the plot played out in real life, I would have real issues if a widowed president bedded a woman -- nay, a political lobbyist -- several doors down from his sleeping daughter.

Also, Annette Bening's performance was insulting. Her character is supposed to be an intelligent, six-figure political operative ("a closer") -- instead we see a giggly, scatterbrained schoolgirl. And Richard Dreyfuss is no more credible as the seething, sniveling Bad Politician.