Thursday, April 16, 2009

Imitation of Life (1959) (2nd time)

A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black woman and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white. [imdb]

Nominated for 2 Oscars:

Best Supporting Actress: Susan Kohner
Best Supporting Actress: Juanita Moore

Another film I'm seing again for Stinkylulu's Supporting Actress Sundays. I'm glad I had this opportunity because I usually don't rewatch them. Imitation of Life is a soap-like, yet solid drama, not for everyone, but I do like this type of social conflict movies. While watching it, I kept saying to myself: remember this was made back in the 50s, 8 years before Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. So the impact of the film and how believable it is relies on your capacity to put all in a fair context.
I find it difficult to write about it. I can't really say WHY I liked it much more this time around. Maybe because I was in a certain mood that almost made me cry in the second to last scene. The film has lots of drama and depends a lot on what type of viewer you are. You can laugh and find it silly and dated or look at the substance of its performances and the message it sends.
The two nominations are worthy. Juanita Moore should have actually won (she plays the black woman and Susan Kohner her light-skinned teenage daughter). It's a movie worth seing if you like typical 1950s dramas and smart films with a soap-opera touch.
My rating for the film: 8/10. I'm being a bit too generous, but it did improve from the last time I saw it.

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