Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate tale of the intense and demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, allegedly a Gypsy foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr ... See full summary »
Paul Eryk Atlas,
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It is a shame that this version of Wuthering Heights was overlong and dull. Why? It was probably to do with the main characters being played by first timers who are unable, or unwilling, to do anything more than move about as instructed and simply do not inhabit their roles. They are leaden.
In Andrea Arnold's latest "edgy" production, the only characters that have any depth, have anything going on behind the eyes, and therefore engage the audience, are the characters played by professionals – namely Paul Hilton, Steve Evets & Kaya Scodelario.
And yet she proudly declares that she likes to use "real people" instead of professional actors because "real people" are "authentic". But it is these "real people" who let her down by not being able to act and by being unreliable (being late, not showing up for ADR etc).
Andrea Arnold appears to be blissfully unaware of how insulting she is being to an ancient profession (actors are "real people" too) and she ignores the fact so many better films than any she has made are populated by pros.
In this, as in her inability to explain why the film was shot 4:3, she reveals that she has little interest in movies and movie making. So why should an audience be interested in her movies?
Thankfully, Andrea Arnold does use professionals behind the camera. The cinematography by Robbie Ryan, a professional and quite probably a real person, was superb. Although the over vigorous use of the hand held style meant that, for a lot of the time, the screen is filled with a meaningless mass of blurs which only serves to emphasise to the audience the presence of a camera. Thus the fourth wall is broken and any magic is lost.
Since winning an Oscar for her short film, Andrea Arnold has now made three movies. She may well carry on making movies, so long as there are producers brave enough to take on a disorganised artist who might be better off working in a studio on her own.
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