Gone with the Wind ★★★½

Not really what I was expecting. As many have noted, especially lately, the romanticizing of the Old South is truly stomach turning but is thankfully at its worst mostly at the beginning of the film (though the constant infantilizing of the black characters [other than Mammy] never gets better). But while I knew that was coming, I did not appreciate how truly unlikable the character of Scarlett O'Hara would be. The film/story seems to understand this, yet strangely also seems to expect us to be rooting for her? She's either responsible or apathetic to the deaths of multiple people yet shows virtually no remorse. Even her "realization" that she has/should have loved Rhett Butler all along feels self serving following Melanie's death. Though the film definitely has proto-feminist elements with her dogged pursuit of independence, it just didn't seem like this redeemed or broadened her character in a meaningful way. The Butler character, especially as portrayed by Gable, is the real gem of the film - the only character that really feels like he moves through any true emotional arcs or grows throughout the story. Overall, I still enjoyed the film since I'm a sucker for epics and did enjoy the recurrent tete a tete's between Gable and Leigh. Some of the shots were also predictably but still movingly grand, none more so than the super slow pull back on the fallen soldiers of Atlanta and the tattered Confederate flag. Glad to have finally checked this one off the list but not one I necessarily need to return to anytime soon.

Watched with Irene via Netflix DVD