Saturday, October 24, 2009

Giant (1956) (2nd time)

An epic movie covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates. [imdb]

Nominated for 10 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: George Stevens (WINNER)
Best Actor: James Dean
Best Actor: Rock Hudson
Best Supporting Actress: Mercedes McCambridge
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Original Score
Best Art Direction, Color
Best Costume Design, Color
Best Editing

It's a giant movie due to it's reputation & cast and not that epic when it comes to what's actually going on. It's a big production, but not a Ben-Hur. :) it tells the story of a family, there's lots of stuff going on in 3 hours, with some parts being more engaging that others. It's a movie event because of Liz, Rock Hudson and especially James Dean, who received his second consecutive posthumous nomination.
I read some comments that James should've been placed in the supporting category and I agree, as the he's not really the center of the film. He might steal the show, but it's not about him. I struggle with the performances: Liz is fine, but she doesn't get to do much; it's all about the boys. Mercedes gives a fine performance, but in a 3 hours movie, her role feels like a cameo. This probably is Rock's finest dramatic performance and from the 2 men, my heart went to him, because he really creates a warm believable character and his performance is fiiiiiine. But not excellent.
And then there's James; I respect the Brando style of acting, but there's something so whiny/half retarded about the character, and his performance only hunts that down, adding some drunk scenes from the same bucket. He does it well, but I'm still seeing almost the same whiny acting from East of Eden. Again: he would've probably deserved a win, but the acting was so different from anyone else's I just don't know if I loved it or found it too much for the classic-moviemaking feel of Giant. Other than that: the direction win is probably deserved, the technical part is a plus and the screenplay... well, it's good. However when the film shifted from the first part (which had a certain dynamic) to the children all grown up, the movie became less interesting. When the 3 leads were not on screen full-power, the stakes were less interesting.
My rating for the film: 7.5/10. I know, I really wanted to give more, but I guess that desire comes from all the James Dean fascination and the fact that the film is eye candy. Objectively, it could've been better. P.S.: I don't know if it would've deserved a BP win, as I shamefully haven't seen any of his competitors. :P

1 comment:

  1. Shameless soap opera of a movie. First half is fine, but it goes on for far too long with a smug self-centred core.

    And it's the least impressive of James Dean's legacy. The drunk old man acting is abysmal, even if he is being dubbed by Nick Adams.