This is deeply fascinating stuff, really shows how quickly the European New Wave stuff got under Hollywood's skin. Technically a British production but produced under a distribution deal with MGM (and starring Pat Boone, so the American audience was a big goal), THE MAIN ATTRACTION breaks all the rules of Hollywood filmmaking at the time - very few master shots, a lot of inserts and handheld camerawork that breaks up space, and loads of sexuality. Mai Zetterling runs away with…
I like Elvis as an actor, but man does Barbara Stanwyck (as a carnival owner!) raise his game considerably every time they share a scene. The songs are a bit of a wash and the musical numbers aren't especially catching, until the final shot, which is stunning. Altogether, works a bit better as a drama; "guy who won't commit to anything/anyone" works on Elvis.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The rare film that at once opens itself up, and yet, in so doing, becomes vastly more mysterious with each viewing. Also one of the saddest films I've ever seen, even before the context in which it was viewed this week - a whole world searching for some sort of meaning and completely unable to satisfy it. Dodd's eventual entrapment in a mythology of his own creation is devastating. The last scene between him and Freddie..."or you can stay," he says, on the verge of begging him to do so.
"Maybe this isn't your life."
"Oh...I hope it isn't."
WONDER WOMAN is the first film in nearly a decade that gave me that feeling of inspiration I got when I really loved comic books, and reminded me what makes their simple narratives enduring and powerful. It makes goodness and decency riveting, and assumes that most people genuinely want to be good.
It's also surprisingly romantic and playful, funny in a warm and human way free of irony or snark, and is fundamentally a story about leaving home for the…