Now see here, my good man. For the last half hour you've been saying goodbye and staying on. I wish you'd say 'How do you do' and go!
Minnelli had a pretty good 1958. Gigi won 9 Oscars, including Best Picture, and he managed to squeeze in Some Came Running, which is cited by many auteurists as his masterpiece, or, at least, one of them. Into this noise is the more weakened signal of The Reluctant Debutante.
Setting aside his many other virtues, the Minnelli name connotes elegant mise-en-scene, followed urgently by complex but clearly delineated choreography of the players, together producing expressive beauty and sophistication that called…
I'd like nothing more than to plead guilty to disliking this film for reasons of Welles loyalty - which, if you know me, I expect is something you already know runs very high for me and repels most small arms fire. No, the antagonism between Welles and Mankiewicz in Fincher's movie is, generously, greatly exaggerated by many of the early previews, the impressions gleaned from trailers, and subsequent publicity-adjacent clickbait articles. The washed-up writer on a long bid for a…
If you, like me, have already seen this film eleventy-seven times, the clarity of the high-definition transfer on Criterion's Blu-ray reveals and/or emphasizes the film's astonishing artificial-ness: the just-past-its-sell-by-date Hecht/MacArthur play, the yearning to be a pre-Code naughty thwarted because the principals all feel slightly aged out, over-polished, too on their marks; the pre-Breen/-Hays days are gone, and what's even more gone is doing mugs gallery/vaudeville revue strategies to spread the paychecks around and fill out the running time.