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The Governor's Wife (2008)
Not the best I've seen!
The film is titled "Deadly Suspicion." This is the story of a matriarch who is abruptly widowed. After the funeral she has to accept a prospective daughter - in - law into the fold. One of the worst movies ever -absolutely dreadful. The matriarch appears to be wise enough to cover her tracks by staying friends with the local police for decades and by appearing to be the grieving widow, yet halfway through she suddenly begins shooting at everything on two legs! The acting was hammy -if it wasn't over the top, it was flat and wooden. I'm referring in particular to the son. The story was poor and the dialogue pretty dreadful. There were some nice moments watching the Southern Californian countryside, but I can watch that in a travelogue. I've seen countless excellent thriller/domestic drama -type movies -this wasn't one of them. Stuck with it till the bitter end and wished I hadn't!
The Gentle Sex (1943)
Wartime Story of women in the ATS
I am a great aficionado of 1940s -50s black and white movies, but I am afraid this one seemed like a lead balloon. The premise was interesting - Leslie Howard as an almost God - like figure looking down on the milling crowd and selecting his characters -and I settled back for an interesting story to unfold. I waited in vain. Not only did very little happen (which can still mean an excellent movie)but there was very little character development. I ended up with the feeling that women were basically rather boring, spineless creatures, which is surely the antithesis of what the film was trying to achieve? I've seen so many films from this era and later where we see women as they really are, innovative, brave,tender, funny,witty. It's the first time I've seen Lilli Palmer as a quiet colourless creature. There were endless opportunities for fun/tragedy/drama,etc, which just didn't materialise. Even the music hall song was flat and stale. Perhaps in its time it might have worked as a propaganda film purely to show that women can be successful in the army but apart from this I'm afraid it was a non -starter and I gave it the thumbs down.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Young innocent married woman is delighted to find herself pregnant but begins to realise that all is not what it seems.
A truly magnificent shocker which does not require blood or bullets to make your spine tingle. The old dark Gothic building with its rickety lift and heavy furnishings only lends to the atmosphere but conversely, evil can also be sensed in the most banal of places, eg Rosemary's lemony coloured kitchen and freshly painted nursery. Cassavetes' Faustian Guy with his cynical wisecracking leaves you uneasy and Ruth Gordon is superb as the colourful, eccentric, annoying old neighbour. ("Buzz me when you get back" -Would you really want a neighbour who makes you account for your movements?)The various middle aged women who float in and out of the scenario seem like certain harpy teachers from my convent school in the sixties(maybe there were certain things I didn't know then!)You really feel for Rosemary and her increasing fear and isolation as small events and signs take on fresh significance -or is she just a lonely, slightly neurotic young bride who needs more chicknights with les girls? The lullaby, hummed so sweetly by Mia Farrow at the start and end, seems to convey the film's image -haunting, sorrowful and ultimately helpless. If this film reached under your skin, the tune will haunt you forever.