Saturday, April 26, 2014

Summer and Smoke (1961)

Plain, repressed spinster falls for a dashing young medical student, but he prefers the wilder life, until it's too late. [imdb]

Nominated for 4 Oscars:

Best Actress: Geraldine Page
Best Supporting Actress: Una Merkel
Best Music, Drama or Comedy
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color

This was Geraldine's only 2nd feature film and it brought her a second Oscar nomination. It's a role she had previously played on stage, with it being an adaptation of Tennessee Williams' (not-so-successful) play. I won't share my thoughts on Geraldine, I'm keeping them for the other blog (where I'll do my Best Actress 1961 ranking in a week or so).

I've actually seen the film twice in a month and found it just slightly better the second time around. It's hard for the film to succeed when the two leading characters are dislikeable, each in a different way. But it's not a bad film, I would say not even boring. It's very very theatrical, if you can hold that against it. It has a touch of Williams' perversion which makes it quite... juicy (if not cool) at times. Elmer Bernstein's original score is excellent, Una's performance and nomination are rather ignorable and I will salute the scene/shot where Rita Moreno's character dances for Geraldine's. That was funny and a nice touch.

My rating for the film: 6.5/10. A big wink to the ending and the casting of the dude.

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