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Monday, 16 April 2012

My Year in Film: March

#45 *Saving Private Ryan (1998)
#46 *Father Goose (1964)
#47 *Rope (1948)
#48 It Happened To Jane (1959)
#49 Peyton Place (1957)
#50 Portrait in Black (1960)
#51 Houseboat (1958)
#52 Battleship Potemkin (1925)
#53 The Valley of the Kings (1954)
#54 Madame X (1966)
#55 The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
#56 If Winter Comes (1947)
#57 Betrayed (1954)
#58 Josephine and Men (1955)
#59 Please Believe Me (1950)
#60 Escape Me Never (1947)
#61 Mr. Imperium (1951)
#62 *Cover Girl (1944)
#63 Angel (1937)
#64  Saboteur (1942)
#65 The Paradine Case (1947)
#66 *An Affair to Remember (1957)
#67 The Mosquito Coast (1986)
#68 *Julia Misbehaves (1947)
#69 Tangled (2010)
#70 *Music and Lyrics (2007)
#71 Yes Man (2008)
#72 Partir (Leaving) (2009)
#73 Blue Valentine (2010)
#74 The Pajama Game (1957)

1900s - 0
1910s - 0
1920s - 1
1930s - 1
1940s - 7
1950s - 11
1960s - 3
1970s - 0
1980s - 1
1990s - 1
2000s - 3
2010s - 2

The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952

Depending on whether or not you follow me on other social networking sites, you might have realised that I'm currently going through a Lana Turner craze. If you've followed me for a while you probably know that I disliked Lana Turner rather a lot and for a reason I no longer remember. It was something I read 4 or 5 years ago and, although I've since forgotten about it, I never managed to forget my dislike of Lana. Then I watched Peyton Place and she basically forced me to admit that she was a beautiful, highly talented, and absolutely exquisite actress. So, here we are. I'm obsessed with Lana Turner and The Bad and the Beautiful happens to be one of my favourite films of the month. Not only is Miss Turner fantastic in it but so is the whole cast: Kirk Douglas, Dick Powell, Walter Pidgeon, Gloria Grahame, Elaine Stewart. I'm not sure that there has ever been such a perfect 1950s melodrama. Everything about the film is so delightfully OTT. You should definitely see it ASAP. :)

Peyton Place, 1957

Peyton Place is a somewhat unusual film for the year it was made in that it deals with many issues that weren't regularly portrayed on the screen: rape, murder, suicide, to name but a few. Of course, in 1957, the Hays Code was drawing it's last breaths in Hollywood and a new era of more casual rules was beginning. Still, PP is a far cry from the splashy Technicolor musicals and sickly sweet romantic dramas that were popular throughout the decade. Whilst I did love the overall film, a huge let down was the acting of Diane Varsi who played the main character Alison. She showed absolutely no emotion throughout the entire film and when participating in dialogue, used the most dreary, bland voice I have ever heard. As if that wasn't bad enough, the film called for her to do several voice-overs and there is nothing more off-putting than having that disinterested voice narrating whilst a beautiful Cinemascope landscape is being shown. However, Lana Turner and the rest of the cast almost completely made up for Varsi, who I hope never to have to see in anything ever again.

Blue Valentine, 2010

I put off watching Blue Valentine for a long time because from what I'd read about it, I didn't think it was going to be my cup of tea. And, if I'm honest, I wasn't wrong. It was so raw and rough that I don't think I'll ever even try to watch it again. That being said, whilst I can't say I wholeheartedly enjoyed watching the film (although, I don't think enjoyment was entirely what director Derek Cianfrance was going for), I had to include it in my top films for March because everything from the script to the soundtrack was incredible. Furthermore, I'd never seen Michelle Williams in anything before this and I found her performance really moving. I'll definitely be checking out more of her filmography.

Tangled, 2010

Yeah, yeah, I know, I took my time in seeing this. Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of animated films. I don't know why, but I just prefer seeing actual flesh and blood people as opposed to animated characters. I did really enjoy Tangled though and, in true Sophie form, I found that my favourite character was one of the "baddies". When it comes to Disney, my favourites characters are Scar (The Lion King), Jafar (Aladdin), Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), and, although I'm not a big fan of the actual film, Ursula (The Little Mermaid), so it was no surprise that Mother Gothel completely captivated me from the start. Of course, my love of the character was no coincidence when she was voiced by the fabulous Donna Murphy. If it hadn't been for Mother Gothel, I'm not sure it would have ranked in my top films this month but I couldn't resist such a brilliant character with an even more brilliant voice so there you have it!

Speak to you all soon!


  1. Lana Turner is a good one to go crazy about for a while. The Postman Always Rings Twice is of course marvelous. And Peyton Place! What a controversy that movie is! It's showing sometime in the coming week or two, I can't remember. I'll have to look it up again-- I want to see that!

  2. Sophie,
    That's quite a list! I agree with Becky regarding The Postman. Loved Lana when she was ruthless. Of course The Bad and the Beautiful is also a winner.

    I haven't seen Tangled but I'm nuts over all animation so hopefully I'll fix that soon.


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