Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Affairs

I'm guessing lots of bunny boiling to appear in the lists this week but I could be wrong. I actually haven't seen Fatal Attraction, somthing to add to next years Blind Spot list because I can wait that long to see it. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.

The Deep Blue Sea
As a new viewer to Terrence Davies films, I was in awe of how beautiful this incredidly depressing and practically poetically tragic this film was. I felt that it could have been a play as it mainly took place in the flat where the affair happens. Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston are brilliant but I find this film had to watch again. Hester, the younger wife of a High Court judge has a 'passionate' affair with former RAF pilot Freddie. She falls hopelessly in love with him but things don't always turn out the way you think.

American Beauty
I wondered why this film was such a big deal for ages as back in 1999 I wasn't old enough to see it. A few years later I borrowed the video from someone and later bought my own copy I was so impressed with it. A brilliant look at suburban families and the secrets they hide. I'm sure everyone remembers the rose petal scenes and the 'beautiful' plastic bag in the wind or the most tragic part of the whole film. At least I thought it was. Having to keep a secret like that or thinking you had and then the other person having to live with it and not say a word. That is painful. 

Broken Embraces
Ah Pedro Almodovar, what a brilliant guy. His films drip with melodramtic beauty, always in vibrant colours, its always perfect. Told in flashback by blind writer Harry who recount his love affair with aspiring actress and how they tried to escape her older controlling and wealthy husband. It wasn't as 'big' as his other films which is surprising as its just as brilliant but the focus isn't really on women, which is what Almodovar is known for.


  1. I also went with The Deep Blue Sea, and I loved American Beauty. I haven't seen Broken Embraces yet, but I really should. Great picks!

  2. Pleasantly surprised someone went with Broken Embraces. Excellent film, that is. Same for American Beauty. Great picks.

  3. Thanks :) I wanted to include something other than an American film as I tend to pick those often. I'm always in awe of American Beauty - plastic bag in the wind and all!

  4. Thanks! Ah The Deep Blue Sea, I actually own but I can't bring myself to watch it again.

  5. I've yet to see Broken Embraces but you're other two are great picks. I chuckled at your mention of the "beautiful" plastic bag which has been so overused now that it's become a cliche but the rest of American Beauty has stayed solid with great performances by both Spacey and Annette Bening.

    Both the male actors in Deep Blue Sea do fine work but Rachel Weisz's extraordinary performance knocks everything else out of view. That she didn't even score an Oscar nomination that year is a pity, though I think she was close-she was in the discussion leading up to the awards. I think she should have won, she's utterly brilliant. Did you know there is an earlier version of the material? Made in England in the 50's starring Vivien Leigh as Hester and also called The Deep Blue Sea, it wasn't quite as compelling as this one but it was interesting to see another take on the material. I found it on YouTube, don't know if it's still there.

    This particular theme has SO many versions I just quickly chose three favorites rather than trying to root through the almost limitless possibilities.

    Second Skin (2000)-Madrid housewife Elena (Ariadna Gil) suspects her husband Alberto (Jordi Molla) of having an affair, threatening their seemingly happy life with their son. Devastated when she discovers not only that her suspicions were correct but that the person he is involved with is a man, surgeon Diego (Javier Bardem) she confronts Alberto. At first he insists that it was a momentary lapse but eventually confesses that he is genuinely in love with Diego and torn between his two lives.

    They Won’t Believe Me (1947)-Larry Ballentine (Robert Young) is on trial for murder and as he takes the stand in his defense the film explores the story of how he’s found himself there. Indifferent to his wealthy wife Gretta (Rita Johnson) who loves him deeply Larry is a cad involved in a quadrangle with her, his mistress Janice (Jane Greer) and a secretary at his insurance office, Verna (Susan Hayward). A reprobate who is never satisfied with what he has he makes a series of selfish decisions that lead to tragedy. Even if he’s innocent of the crime accused is he indeed blameless. Nifty noir with a super, out of character performance from the usually good guy Young and a great ending.

    The Macomber Affair (1947)-Francis Macomber (Robert Preston) and his wife Margaret (Joan Bennett) arrive in Kenya for a safari and hire experienced hunter Robert Wilson (Gregory Peck) as their guide. Their marriage is a troubled one and Margaret becomes openly interested in Wilson with disastrous consequences. A three person chamber piece with both Peck and Preston doing good work but the standout is the under-appreciated Joan Bennett as a woman turned into a hard article by a bad marriage. Though subtle gestures and sly looks she gives the film a tough grounded center and has rarely looked so beautiful. A solid adventure film with noir elements and a Hemingway feel. The film is an adaptation of one of his short stories.

  6. I have not seen the first or last one but love American Beauty. You are so right about the tragedy of secrets kept because of what society deems is acceptable and what is not.

  7. I didn't know about the Vivien Leigh and Kenneth Moore version The Deep Blue Sea, I think I would still see it even though the story is too much.

    Your picks are great - love a good noir - I think Second Skin especially sounds good.

  8. I also went with The Deep Blue Sea, and I absolutely loved American Beauty. Great picks!

  9. Nice picks! If you're interested in "affairs" as a theme, The Affair on Showtime is one of the best shows I've ever seen.

  10. It's brilliant yet sad depiction that I always come back to. Such a great film, I hope Sam Mendes goes back to something like this.

  11. Yes! I've seen the trailers, I have a few tell me to watch the show :)

  12. I agree! The Affair is great. It was the reason I came up with this topic.