Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Whisperers (1967)

It's the story of an old lady, lonely and almost senile, living a depressing life. When it seems her luck has changed, life teaches her a lesson.

Nominated for 1 Oscar:

Best Actress: Edith Evans

I had to write the plot line, because the one from imdb is quite deceiving. With just 181 votes on imdb, there aren't many people who've seen this movie. It's British, it's very low budget, no big names. However, Dame Edith Evans won the Golden Globe, the National Board of Review AND the New York FCC for her leading performance! At age 80, she is the second oldest Best Actress nominee, second only to Jessica Tandy.
But even with all these critics awards, I think her chances of winning the Oscar were very slim! So no shock about it! It's not that she isn't good, but the performance is sooo non-American, subtle, hard to relate to if you're under 40, with no big flashy scenes. So if Kay Hepburn wouldn't have won, it would've been Faye Dunaway or Audrey.
The film itself is too low key and it lacks... well it lacks the stakes. The story is simple - no problem with that - but it somehow doesn't take advantage of the potential to be an author film or a really moving one. It's realistic, beautifully directed, but the screenplay could've been a bit heavier. Obviously, it relies a lot on Edith Evans, who is not as brilliant as I expected (because the screenplay doesn't give her the chance), but gives an excellent performance! Her touching acting in the beginning gives you a lot to think of. And no, she's not playing herself, you can see that! And no, the movie is not about a crazy woman talking to ghosts. There's actually a lot going on for like... 20 minutes. :)
My rating for the film: 5.5/10. First I wanted 6, then 5... It would actually be a 4 if not for Edith Evans, who does miracles with it. I recommend it just to Oscar fans and Best Actress addicts.


  1. Interesting scenery to me and that's about it.

  2. The finale is open to interpretation. I just sensed that she went through a cycle of events that only interrupted her normal routines.