Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1927/1928: Wings

So I just finished watching the first Best Picture winner, and all I can think is "Wow."  For the first hour or so of the film, however, that was the last word on my mind.  It was definitely hard to get into.  But the end was really good.

Basically, the film was about World War I.  Two young guys named Jack and David are in love with the same girl (who loves David, but not Jack; there's a girl-next-door type character who loves Jack but he doesn't know it until the end).  They go off to war together, and in training they get into a huge fight, and then for no reason at all decide to become best friends.  The girl they both love threatens to get in the way of their friendship, but they realize that their relationship is more important than a girl.  Unfortunately, they realize it a bit late.  Still, it was pretty touching.  After the random scene where Jack gets drunk and starts seeing bubbles everywhere (what was he drinking?) and obsessing over the bubbles (totally made me think of that fish in Finding Nemo), the movie got much better.  This film had several important life lessons in it, such as: don't let a girl who's only in two scenes get in the way of true friendship, and it's probably not the best idea to steal an enemy plane and then fly it back to your base.

Although it was the first Best Picture Winner, this film really marks the end of an era.  It was the only silent film to win this award [until 2011, that is, but I didn't know that at the time]; soon afterwards, nearly every film was a talking picture.  Like most silent films I've seen, there was a lot of over-acting (particularly the dramatic dying scenes), people's eyes looked creepy, and the titles were overly-descriptive and tried to be too profound.  By the end, though, the story was engaging enough that I was able to see past that and actually enjoy the film for what it was.  Oh, and the Gary Cooper cameo was fun to spot, although kind of depressing.

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