Friday, May 9, 2014

The Best Movie(s) I Saw This Week: 30s Double Feature

Even though this week I watched some true stinkers (How can Divergent be so terrible?), I had the good luck to see two classics from the 30s. And since I could not choose, I've decided to cheat a little and select them both as movies of the week.

First, I watched (for the third time!) It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934) and it was every bit as wonderful as the other two times.

It was the first movie to win the five Big Awards at the Oscars (Picture, Director, Screenplay and both leading performers) and rightfully so. The script is witty, smart and extremely funny while also being quite tender and romantic. It even manages to touch on the contemporary depression while staying light and classy. Both Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert are charm personified. They are so talented and so game in this movie. The two scenes I like best are the hitchhiking one and the one where they pretend to be married so the police doesn't find her and they pretend-scream and pretend-fight. Oh, and I was already forgetting the Flying Trapeze song! It is just a sweet scene that does not advance the plot but it lets us see the characters warming to each other being goofy, sweet and so crush-worthy. Capra's direction is top-notch too. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece.

The second 30s classic I watched was brand-new to me but I had anticipated for a while and it did not disappoint. In fact it exceeded expectations. I'm talking about Stage Door (Gregory LaCava, 1937).

Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn star as aspiring actresses and they are amazing both in their bickering repartees in the beginning of the movie as in their complicity towards the end. As if this was not enough, the rest of the cast is incredibly good and the scenes with all the girls in the boarding house living room are delicious. The script is also extremely intelligent not only in the hilarious one-liners but also, going somewhere deeper, in what it says about relationships among women. LaCava's direction is great too; I just love shots with a lot of people acting together and in this movie, they never seem stuffy or theatrical. It is, quite simply, another masterpiece.

Other films I watched this week:
Carmina y Amén (Paco León, 2014)
Corpo Celeste (Alice Rohrwacher, 2011)
Austenland (Jerusha Hess, 2013)
Divergent (Neil Burger, 2014)

No comments:

Post a Comment