Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Whales of August (1987)

The film tells the story of two elderly widowed sisters near the end of their lives, spending a summer in a seaside house in Maine.
Nominated for 1 Oscar:
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Sothern
What's so special about this film is that it really is a cinema event. There's no need for explanations if you are a huge movie fan. The two sisters are played by Lillian Gish and Bette Davis. Davis is my favorite actress of all times. Gish, who was 96 years old in 1987! (making her the eldest person to ever get a leading role) is probably the greatest film star from the silent movie era. Her career started in 1912!
Something funny: while filming a scene, Lindsay Anderson, the director of The Whales of August, said to Lillian Gish, "Miss Gish, you have just given me a perfect close-up." Davis observed, "She should. The bitch invented 'em." :))
Now about the film itself: it's slow, with good and decent performances, nothing excellent. The entire story happens in like 24 hours, there's nothing big going on, just quiet peaceful dialogue. For me, it was bliss cause I just got to see those 2 divas. I'm surprised Gish didn't get a nomination for Best Actress. Had she been campaigned in supporting (instead of Leading, as I suspect happened), Bette Davis would've gotten one too. The single nomination of the film, for Ann Sothern's showy performance, is rather pointless.
So: a must see for huge film fans cause it's film history; and probably a terribly boring experience for anyone else. My rating for the film: 7/10.

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