Dodsworth ★★★★

Just a really good case for evaluating "realism" in Classical Hollywood Cinema. The narrative doesn't really motivate between scenes as much as drop in with seemingly abrupt slices displaying the dynamic between Huston and Chatterton. We never get to see the romance with Astor develop; by the time we return, the film shows Huston building a motor and then the dialogue fills in the details without ever screaming exposition. The amount of brutal and honest literal screaming Huston and Chatterton do at each other—supported by Wyler's commitment to long takes to subdue the melodramatic generic markers—makes it feel less "writerly" than I supposed it may have on stage. It's really only the last few scenes that really signal something of a "film," but the ending is so lovely—the transformation of Astor—that it earns such saccharine sweetness.