Sunday, June 14, 2009

Better Yet, Read the Book

A couple of nights ago, I watched, for the first time in probably a quarter century, Karel Reisz's 1981 film of THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN -- one of those movies I find watchable though I don't really like it. However, after seeing it again, in HD no less, four things about it stood out for me as immensely likeable.

The first and most obvious thing is the splendid cinematography of Freddie Francis. The man was an auteur; I can recognize his work at a glance.

Secondly, the delightful presence of one Lynsey Baxter as Ernestina, the betrothed of the Meryl Streep-haunted Jeremy Irons. It's a sad comment on the vagaries of love that Irons stumbles about blind to the charms of this foxy Victorian, who is not only a dead ringer for Deborah Kerr in THE INNOCENTS (also photographed by Francis -- coincidence?) but also deft with a bow and arrow.

Thirdly, the great Leo McKern, whose glass eye is for some reason less noticeable or more believable than usual.

And finally, bravo to Irons for executing what is undoubtedly the most perfectly timed drunkard's fall I have ever seen in a film. Thank goodness someone has posted the entire movie in segments on YouTube, so I can direct you to this portion and timecode 1:30. I never tire of watching this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.