Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Vicious

After receiving recommedations from Steve and Suzy for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, I went down to Blockbuster's to rent but unfortunately all the copies were gone. But they were not short on other Elizabeth Taylor flicks.

Since everyone has rushed out to see her in Giant, then we are all familiar with Optomistic-Pragmatic-Justice-Seeker Liz. Now you must see Caustic-Abusive-Alcoholic Liz.


Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?


No soundtrack, no special effects, no flashbacks, no subplots. Its just four people filmed at close range and dialogue, that's it. And its fantastic.

Bitter, abusive middle-aged couple meets happy, fresh and young couple for a evening of drinks and light conversation. Or so the premise goes. But the reality is somewhat different. Bitter, abusive, middle-aged couple drag happy, fresh and young couple into a very tense, awkward and powerful 4-way psychological boxing match that continues all night and into the next morning.

The dialogue in this film is brilliantly vicious. Vicious, even by today's standards, so you have to wonder how it was received back in the day when it was released (1966). But even as well-written as it is, it even better delivered by the four people locked in a tight, tense frame for two hours you will never forget. Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis and George Segal simply set this black-and-white classic on fire.

What I liked the most about ET was the ease with which she could manipulate an audience. In the beginning she has you screaming for someone to punch her in the face. Then, at the end, she makes you want to console her and tell her it will be OK.

Taylor won an Oscar for her role, as did Dennis, both very well-deserved. In fact, the film itself was nominated in every category, winning in 5.

I feel bad it took me so many years to see this one.

10/10

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6 Comments:

Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

I had to watch this in college, in a Marriage and Family Class - I was EXHAUSTED when it finally ended - I've never seen so much fighting, but it had an excellent point. Wonderful movie.

6:42 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Steve, was this Marriage and Family class obligatory?

You're right, it is like running a marathon to watch it but the dialogue is great!

7:05 AM

 
Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

Marriage and Family was an elective in Sociology - a great class that taught me a lot about relationships...as I sit here single in my 40s LOL
Glad you liked the movie - keep looking for Cat on a hot tin roof - I love it!

9:57 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

40's are a great time to be single, you can get married when your old :)

Oh, I found Cat On A Hot Tin Roof yesterday so I will watch it soon!

3:09 PM

 
Blogger Ryan Charisma said...

Damn,

I've written to this 3 times and this is the first time it's taken.

I love this movie! It is brilliantly written by my personal, favorite gay, American (still alive) playwright Edward Albee. He's got such a gift. I adore the way he holds a mirror up to society and shows it at it most ugly as well as beautiful. All of Albee's shows are facsinating. I just recently was lucky enough to see Kathleen Turner in a Broadway production of "...Virginia Wolfe" and it was great. Funny how he names the two main charecters after the first president of our country George & Martha. Did you know everyone thought E. Taylor was far too young to play Martha. She did great though.

Ah happy straight couples. See them all keeping their marriages sacred?

3:31 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Ryan,

Cool, I didn't know that about Albee but I really enjoyed the way he distorted an institution away from the wedded-bliss perception (who's marriage is fairy tale anyway?)

You know, I didn't pick up on the George and Martha until you said it, very clever.

I was thinking the same thing about Liz being too young. She must have been early 30's at the time, so there must have been some major transformation happening behind the scenes.

9:52 PM

 

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