Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Sound of Music (1965) (3rd time)

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the 7 children of a Naval officer widower. [imdb]
Nominated for 10 Oscars:
Best Picture (WINNER)
Best Director: Robert Wise (WINNER)
Best Actress: Julie Andrews
Best Supporting Actress: Peggy Wood
Best Cinematogaphy, Color
Best Adapted Music (WINNER)
Best Art Direction, Color
Best Costume Design, Color
Best Sound (WINNER)
Best Editing (WINNER)
It really is one of the best known / most seen musicals of all times. In a way, that's highly justified: the songs are wonderful, catchy and memorable. It's also considered a family movie: the songs & the funny childish stuff for the kids and the love story & Nazi plotline for the parents. It's a feel good movie and one of the last Hollywood musical hits.
And what's interesting about it is that its fame has nothing to do with it winning the Oscar for Best Picture. Did it deserve it? Not really, but being such a feel good and (some might say) complete movie, the decision seems rather justified. Julie Andrews is superb, as always (but I'll write about her this week on the other blog). The children can be a bit annoying, but ignorable and Christopher Plummer was better than expected. Seeing it through my adult eyes, I find it less fun than when I was a kid, but still very enjoyable and great light entertaining. The direction is just fine and the technical part very good.
My rating for the film: 8/10. The songs are a dealbreaker here. If you have them on your computer and listen to them very often, than you'll understand my rating. If not, you'd probably be less generous.
Now that I've seen all the 1965 nominated films for Best Picture and Best Director, I'm gonna rank the nominees from Most Deserving to Least. [If you'll scroll down to the other posts, you'll find the profile of each of these films.]
1. Darling
2. The Sound of Music
3. Doctor Zhivago
4. Ship of Fools
5. A Thousand Clowns
3 months ago I would've had Zhivago as #1. In my opinion, A Patch of Blue would've deserved the nomination and the win. But that's just me. None of them are excellent, but the first 4 are quite good movies, from various reasons and with different flaws.
1. Hiroshi Teshigahara - Woman in the Dunes
2. John Schlesinger - Darling
3. David Lean - Doctor Zhivago
4. Robert Wise - The Sound of Music
5. William Wyler - The Collector
Tough call, with the first 2 being a head above the rest, but still very different directions to compare. 3 months ago I would've went for Lean. But all 5 are good, solid directions; so it's a great line-up. Actually, I would say the directions are better than the actual films.


  1. Hiroshi Teshigara is maybe the best nominated direction ever. Can't get behind the Darling love. I thought it had way too much hatred for women in it to have many coherent ideas about anything else.

  2. I don't think "hatred" is the right word. But there is some misogynist stuff going on there. It's a film directed by a gay, written by a gay with a gay male lead. But what I like about it is the sarcasm of the story, the fabulous fabulous direction (much betten than Midnight Cowboy) and the fact that it feels new or original. I'm not sure I LOVE it, but I respect it.
    Yet I guess in can be interpreted in various ways.

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