Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks - Affairs

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join in the fun by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and saying a bit about them. It couldn't be simpler!
Who doesn't love a good affair? Why, I'm off to an affair of my own in a few hours: my sister's wedding!

But in this case, I'm pretty sure Wanderer means "Affairs" in a romantic sense - like when someone is involved very seriously with one person and then begins having relations with someone else. Very fertile ground for drama, comedy, and great films. I look forward to seeing everyone else's picks. Here are mine, with no commentary except to say that I LOVE these movies.

The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) RIP Mike Nichols. Probably Dustin Hoffman's second-best performance (after Tootise, of course). Also, that trailer is real, and it's REALLY awful.

Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945) Only one of the greatest films ever made, with two of the greatest performances in the history of the medium, and directed by the same guy who made Lawrence of freakin' Arabia. (This one's for you, Drew! We miss you!)

Fatal Attraction (Adrian Lyne, 1987) Look, can we all just agree to never let Glenn Close near any kitchen knives or bunny rabbits ever again? Okay? Good.

17 comments:

  1. lol your comment for Fatal Attraction. I've never seen The Graduate, I feel like that should probably be a Blind Spot of mine next year.

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    1. OMG you NEED to see The Graduate. Stone-cold classic.

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  2. The Graduate and Fatal Attraction are two of the quintessential films on affairs. However, I will say that Hoffman's performance in The Graduate is not nearly as good as what he does in Midnight Cowboy. Great picks.

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    1. I haven't seen Midnight Cowboy yet. I really should though.

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  3. LOVE the first two, like the third.

    Can't believe The Graduate never even occurred to me, it's such a classic of both the genre and cinema in general. Dusty is great but it's all about Anne Bancroft for me. She's inimitable but its fun to imagine what the performances of the litany of other candidates for her role would have been like. The list is so huge and so varied, Doris Day, Geraldine Page, Ava Gardner, Angela Lansbury, Eva Marie Saint, Simone Signoret, Jean Simmons and on and on how each could have changed the tenor the film while still being great in the part.

    There's not much to say about Brief Encounter that hasn't been said just a swooningly romantic film. All the more so because it relies on emotional impact rather than anything physical.

    Fatal Attraction is a fun ride until it goes off the rails at the end but Glenn gives it everything she's got.

    There's a huge pool of choices this week so I just picked three favorites. Have fun at the wedding.

    Second Skin (2000)-Madrid housewife Elena (Ariadna Gil) suspects her husband Alberto (Jordi Molla) of having an affair, threatening their seemingly happy life with their son. Devastated when she discovers not only that her suspicions were correct but that the person he is involved with is a man, surgeon Diego (Javier Bardem) she confronts Alberto. At first he insists that it was a momentary lapse but eventually confesses that he is genuinely in love with Diego and torn between his two lives.

    They Won’t Believe Me (1947)-Larry Ballentine (Robert Young) is on trial for murder and as he takes the stand in his defense the film explores the story of how he’s found himself there. Indifferent to his wealthy wife Gretta (Rita Johnson) who loves him deeply Larry is a cad involved in a quadrangle with her, his mistress Janice (Jane Greer) and a secretary at his insurance office, Verna (Susan Hayward). A reprobate who is never satisfied with what he has he makes a series of selfish decisions that lead to tragedy. Even if he’s innocent of the crime accused is he indeed blameless. Nifty noir with a super, out of character performance from the usually good guy Young and a great ending.

    The Macomber Affair (1947)-Francis Macomber (Robert Preston) and his wife Margaret (Joan Bennett) arrive in Kenya for a safari and hire experienced hunter Robert Wilson (Gregory Peck) as their guide. Their marriage is a troubled one and Margaret becomes openly interested in Wilson with disastrous consequences. A three person chamber piece with both Peck and Preston doing good work but the standout is the under-appreciated Joan Bennett as a woman turned into a hard article by a bad marriage. Though subtle gestures and sly looks she gives the film a tough grounded center and has rarely looked so beautiful. A solid adventure film with noir elements and a Hemingway feel. The film is an adaptation of one of his short stories.

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    1. You are so right about all the other possible Mrs. Robinsons. They all would have been so very different but Bancroft's iciness in the part is perfection. She's foxy but has a heart of stone, and never lets you forget it. I love how she makes it so clear how she's manipulating Benjamin but JUST not obvious enough so that it's believable he wouldn't see it.

      I've seen none of your picks but The Macomber Affair sounds good and your description of Second Skin is making me kick myself for once again not picking Undertow, about which I want to shout my love from the mountaintops.

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  4. I've been meaning to watch The Graduate for a while but never got around to it.

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  5. I chose Brief Encounter too! Glad you thought of Drew and hope he is well. Maybe he will take a peek. This film is just beautiful I all ways. Beautifully heartbreaking. I almost chose The graduate because it is good and an excellent choice. Fatal Attraction just shows some truly nutty gal. It actually caused a lot of fear with many married men in the country

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    1. Brief Encounter is so freaking beautiful it hurts. I can very easily see why married men would be scared of Alex Forrest and women who may be like her - Close is so inimitable in the part.

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  6. I haven't seen the other two but I really want to watch Fatal Attraction! The Graduate is quite the film on affairs.

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  7. Not that anybody asked, but anyway:
    1) "All that heaven allows" (Douglas Sirk, 1955) & "Far from heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002) - nothing does it like a good old drama.
    2) "In the mood for love" (Kar Wai Wong,2000) - loving the sin, loving the sinners..
    3) "Closer" (Mike Nichols, 2004) - affairs, affairs squared.

    Almost forgot "The Bridges of the Madison County" (Clint Eastwood, 1995)!

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    1. Thanks for posting your picks! Please continue to do so - I love when people join in!

      I love all four of those movies in different ways, but In the Mood for Love is far and away my favorite. I get so swept up in it every time. That music! Those clothes! The colors! SWOON.

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  8. Great picks!! I;m so glad you picked Brief Encounter. The more I think about this film and the more I watch, the more I am convinced that it is the masterpiece that it doesn't claim to be. Its a wonderful film. I think because I studied and wrote about it, I feel a bit too strongly about it but its amazing.

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    1. You are so right - Brief Encounter is such a small, unassuming film, but it's just as great as Lean's other larger more "Important" masterpieces.

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  9. Ahh...I love The Graduate. Definitely considered it as a pick myself...and now the soundtrack's in my head.

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    1. hehehehe I LOVE that soundtrack!

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