Saturday, July 19, 2014

Music Box (1989)

A lawyer defends her father accused of war crimes, but there is more to the case than she suspects. [imdb]

Nominated for 1 Oscar:

Best Actress: Jessica Lange

This is another film to surprise me recently, first because it starts so painfully bad, and then because it shifts completely becoming a very interesting film, a courtroom drama. There's a slow start for everyone: from the poor dialogue to Armin Mueller-Stahl's questionable acting to Jessica's hesitation and overpreciousness. Luckily it gets better as soon as the trial starts and it's an uphill journey from then on.

The music box twist comes as a nice surprise, so was the trip to Hungary. Jessica's acting just keeps getting better, though unfortunately Armin's doesn't. In the hands of the right actor (a bigger name, maybe), it could've also been an Oscar nominated performance. I hear Kirk Douglas and Walter Matthau were both considered, both better choices. 

My rating for the film: 7.5/10. I get it why some don't like it, because it simplifies things too much, but I enjoyed the second half, by contrast to the awful first half an hour. 

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