8 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Amazing film that must be seen. Truly a "jaw-dropper"!
8 October 2011
I saw this truly extraordinary film last night ... and know now that it will be with me for a long time to come. The story is totally compelling and the acting is superb! Emily Watson is always a wonder to watch and she does some of her finest work here -- perhaps her best performance ever. The supporting players are, without exception, highly gifted and each finds his or her character to the point where you feel, at times, that you are watching a documentary, so fine are their portrayals. Based on the true experiences of social worker Margaret Humphreys (that will leave you with your mouth agape often)and with a beautifully written script that moves briskly ... and, at many turns, into frightening territory, with terrific direction, this is a must-see! Put it on your list! If there is any justice, this one will figure when the awards are handed out!
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As good as Mrs. Keith's book (whiich was excellent!)
25 March 2007
I was very young when I first encountered Agnes Newton Keith's book of the same name (and very nearly got into trouble with my wonderful fourth grade teacher when, at her request but without her prior review, I read my book report before the class). I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The performances are on the mark, including Colbert's and that of Patric Knowles (an under-rated actor) as her husband, and the remarkable Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa. The supporting cast of character women is superb. Well-cast and totally believable, their contribution to this very fine film is enormous. There are brilliant scenes which show the interaction between the captive British wives (with Mrs. Keith as the lone American woman in the camp) and the Japanese military. The scene, which shows the "visit" of the Aussie men, is truly very funny, albeit that it ends tragically. This film is a rarity ... it stands up well under multiple viewings.
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The Holiday (2006)
But for Cameron Diaz's performance ...
13 December 2006
I've just seen this film earlier tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it! Eli Wallach should be a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Cameron Diaz might have gotten away with this "too often over-the-top" performance ... were it not for the brilliant work of Kate Winslet, who (unfortunately) mops the screen with Ms. Diaz. Jude Law proves that he is, truly, not "just another pretty face" and Jack Black (for the most part) does his best work here. The cinematographer earns high praise, too ... great care is taken with many production details. There is also a very fine performance by a relatively unknown actress in a small role early in the film; watch for the work done by this talented woman, who plays Winslet's good friend from her office, during the office holiday party scene.
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These Three (1936)
Hellman's brilliance as a writer shines through ...
27 September 2006
Everyone told Sam Goldwyn that he had to be crazy to buy the film rights to this one. At the time (1930s), the lesbian theme of the play would have made a film version impossible to release. But, Goldwyn and Lillian Hellman came up with a version that kept intact the other central theme (the vicious lie told by Mary Tilford, the young girl played by Bonita Granville and the resulting damage to "These Three" lives). Of interest to trivia buffs is the fact that Miriam Hopkins (known by many as a "difficult" actress in her Hollywood years), who played Martha in this version, was brought back to play Martha's aunt (Lily Mortar) in the later (1960s) William Wyler version, which reverted to the original title of THE CHILDREN'S HOUR, and starred Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine. That version also was graced by the brilliant performance of Fay Bainter, who played Mary Tilford's grandmother. Watch her especially closely as she exits, after making her (rejected)apology and offer of restitution. Want a real treat? Read Hellman's script for the Broadway play ... and then watch both film versions, in either order.
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Sister Act (1992)
This one stands up under multiple viewings ...
19 March 2006
In addition to being one of Whoopi's very best films, this one passes the acid test of being a film that can be enjoyed more than once. A clever plot line that never quite goes "over the top" is coupled with great performances ... and not only from the film's stars. Kathy Najimy and Joe Maher are both very fine, and Maggie Smith and Mary Wickes stand out. The music sequences are especially well done and the cinematography,editing and costuming departments truly excel. The folks responsible for this film understood the principle that good comedy escalates, never relying on the "one gag after another" technique. This film is in the home video collections of many viewers ... and deservedly so.
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One of the best ever ...
19 June 2004
So much works well here. Acting, direction, screenplay,leading players' chemistry, great character actors in supporting roles, the brilliant use of New York City at that time ... and the scenes inside Tiffany's. It was 1961 and it is important, when making any judgements about this film, that the viewer keep in mind the period. The '50s had ended and young people were ripe for progress ... and for romance. Capote's novel made a beautiful transition to the screen ... but the attempt to turn it into a Broadway musical later with Mary Tyler Moore and Richard Chamberlain proved to be such a disaster that its producer, David Merrick, closed it in previews rather than let it have an official opening night, which would have insured that it would have gone "into the books" as a major flop show ... something Merrick did not want on his record as a producer. This is one I recommend highly to friends who, somehow, have not seen it yet. It is also a great film for young students to watch.
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Certainly this is a nearly forgotten film that is worth watching.
5 June 2004
I remember this film from the very early '60s. In those years we saw a lot of movies at the so-called "grind houses" on West 42nd Street (on both sides of Times Square); the deal, for us, was terrific: a double feature for "never more than 99 cents!" The first film to break that price barrier was Mercouri's NEVER ON Sunday. After her amazing bitchiness in A SUMMER PLACE, Constance Ford was again remarkable in this motion picture. I feel that this film, like too many others, is nearly forgotten today. But, when graduates, with a B.F.A. in Film, Theatre and Television, can look you in the eye and confess that they've "never heard of Marlene Dietrich", what can one expect?! Another one, a 2004 NYU grad, had never heard of THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Perhaps it's not the students but the schools that are failing!
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A silly premise for a funny movie with a wonderful cast.
5 June 2004
Ruth Donnelly, a solid supporting actress in literally dozens of films, went to Hollywood when the Great Depression hit Broadway [where she was established as a young character woman (GOING UP et al.)and near where she had made a few silent films] with a plan to try movies for six months to a year. She came back to the East Coast some three decades later, figuring that her career was over ... and replaced Patsy Kelly in NO, NO, NANETTE on Broadway. Ruth was a true lady ... and one of the best friends anyone could have! I adored her. You haven't lived until you've sat next to Ruth during a special screening of THE MERRY WIVES OF RENO and listened to her asides about the film and the other actors in it. No bitchiness; that was not Ruth's style. But ... funny?! You know it! Guy Kibbee played her husband and Glenda Farrell was a co-star. Ruth, who had not seen the film (this screening was sometime in the '80s) since its initial release, could remember every scene and every moment. She was truly a remarkable talent, a remarkable lady, and a remarkable friend. I miss her greatly.
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