Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Harrowing true story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends is forced to hide in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. [imdb]

Nominated for 8 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: George Stevens
Best Supporting Actor: Ed Wynn
Best Supporting Actress: Shelley Winters (WINNER)
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (WINNER)
Best Original Score
Best Art Direction, Black-and-White (WINNER)
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

2 hours and 50 minutes; boy, that felt like 5 hours. And my #1 ever is Gone with the Wind, so I generally have no problem with longer films. But this one... interesting story, good direction, but sooo boring at times (especially the so-called romantic scenes).
It's a fascinating subject and I also felt like justice wasn't done. I love fiction, but when you take on a big story like Anne Frank's, you should show respect by trying to keep it as close to what really happened. Even though it's based on a stage play, the loyalty should be towards the truth more than a good adaptation of something fictionalized. That's just my perspective.
So, i didn't like it that much. Is it also because it felt a bit too Hollywood? Probably. The Oscar wins for Art Direction and especially Cinematography are well deserved; I can't say the same thing about Best Supporting Actress. In my humble opinion, Shelley Winters was the least deserving of the 5 nominees (and I've seen them all). So I don't agree with the general hype that surrounds this performance; I don't hate it, but nothing thrilled me. Almost the same story with the Ed Wynn nomination, though this one felt a bit more deserving.
My rating for the film: 6/10. Because of the good technical part, and not so much the acting.

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