Just don't blink or you'll miss it. This 1948 meditation on spinsterism is a kind of precursor to Good Will Hunting, giving us an antisocial shut-in (Davis) who suddenly blossoms after a quick spin on the therapist's (Claude Rains) couch. Off come the glasses, up goes the hair (way up -- that coif gives me nightmares now!), and away goes our Charlotte on a pleasure cruise. So comfortable with her new self, Charlotte promptly woos a married man (Paul Henreid) on the boat, falling in love with him.
Continue reading: Now, Voyager Review
A new double-disc DVD of Casablanca enhances the film for novelists and cineastes alike. I rarely do this, but I listened to Roger Ebert's entire commentary track, which he uses to discuss the film's curious shortcomings (what good would letters of transit signed by Charles de Gaulle be in getting you out of Morocco?), Bogart's past and rise to fame (this being his first starring role), Bergman and her foibles, endless points about the film's dozen or so famous lines, and extended commentary on the lighting, special effects (if you can call them that), and camerawork.
Continue reading: Casablanca Review
Everybody loves Chipping to death, which is what makes this and its contemporaries (like Mr. Holland's Opus) such harmless works of cinema. Chipping's challenges are so meaningless that he all but waltzes through life. There's less conflict than in your typical animated Disney movie, and that makes watching Chips an often tedious experience. Even when asked to retire by a younger headmaster, he merely brushes it off like dust from his lapels. Sure, there's some teary eyes when he eulogizes a student that dies during WWII, but Chipping himself lives to a ripe old age with little more than a cold to keep him down.
Continue reading: Goodbye, Mr. Chips Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.